Nationwide launches new maternity policy

Nationwide has launched an improved maternity policy in an effort to retain
female staff.

Launched last week, the move sees full maternity pay increase by nine weeks
to 10, additional unpaid maternity leave from 40 weeks to a year, and the
introduction of a return-to-work bonus.

More than three-quarters of the financial services company’s 15,000 employees
are female, and Nationwide said it is essential it retains staff.

Currently nine out of 10 Nationwide employees return to work after maternity
leave, and the company says the initiative is an effort to maintain these
levels.

Staff returning from maternity leave will receive a £200 loyalty bonus, and
Nationwide hopes the changes will help to reduce staff turnover by 0.5 per cent
to 8.5 per cent by the end of year.

Keith Astill, head of corporate personnel at Nationwide, said: "We want
to retain trained and motivated employees. If we have staff that want to return
to work, they will be more productive.

"If we can improve retention then the benefits are there for the
customer, including the improved service staff loyalty brings, this in turn is
good for the business. Also, we will save money in recruitment and training
costs."

Paternity leave has also been doubled to two weeks to be taken during the
first month after the baby’s birth.

Staff can also take a month unpaid carer’s leave and take extended holidays
by carrying days forward from the next year’s entitlement.

The company has also relaxed its employment break policy by allowing staff
to work for other employers during the period.

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