gender equality

It's time for maternity and paternity leave to go


Pat CaldwellJun 28, 2018

From our beginnings in a South London room through startup phase and now as a bootstrapped scaleup, FundApps has believed in doing good beyond simply profit. This has meant challenging some assumptions and norms, pushing ourselves to continuously improve, and of course having a good laugh along the way :-)

Over the past twelve months, we’ve changed our sick and professional development leave allowances to be unlimited, embraced flexible work without the need for a policy to tell us what we can and can’t do (>80% of FundAppers regularly work flexibly), cut our gender pay gap in half in the last six months, provided everyone in the team a £1,000 learning allowance with no approvals process, and most recently shared our aspirations and progress to become a B-Corp this year.

Our focus over the past few weeks has been on our maternity and paternity leave policies. We have team members in the UK, US, New Zealand and Canada, and when we first introduced maternity and paternity leave above statutory standards in 2017 it became quickly apparent there are few common practices across geographies and companies. It’s really up to us to decide how we want to support new parents at FundApps in line with our values and aspirations.

Here are some things we learnt:

  • Take-up of shared parental leave in the UK is estimated to be as low as 2%
  • Statutory leave, and many company policies, are structured around the stereotype of a woman going on maternity leave for a longer period, and a man going on paternity leave for a much shorter period of time before returning to work.
  • Some companies have shifted away from concepts of maternity and paternity leave towards primary caregiving and secondary caregiving to reduce gender bias.
  • The gender pay gap reporting in the UK showed that over 75% of companies have a median pay gap in favour of men, and that the pay gap widens for women after becoming parents.
  • Many new parents are ineligible for leave under their company policies because of 6- and 12-month ‘minimum service’ eligibility requirements after joining the company.
  • A research study in 2017 showed that 97% of companies enhance their maternity leave offerings, and only 4% enhance their paternity leave offerings.

When we spoke to parents at FundApps, the needs of mums and dads were identical. To spend time with their growing family, and to share in all of the excitement (and exhaustion!) that is parenthood. So we set about to reflect this in how we support parents. We have retired our maternity and paternity leave policies and this week released our new parental leave offering:

Parental Leave at FundApps

  • All new parents received 12 weeks of paid leave, regardless of gender, location, family structure or circumstances
  • The leave is flexible to take at any point in the first year following the child’s birth or adoption
  • All FundAppers are eligible globally with no minimum service requirements Unlimited, paid time off for prenatal, medical or adoption appointments for both mums and dads
  • Flexible options for return to work

We want all new parents at FundApps, regardless of gender, location or circumstances, to celebrate in the joy that is parenthood, and fully engage with their new family member(s). We also want to break down the stereotypes and biases that exist, and ensure all new parents know we are equally supportive of men and women to focus on their families, careers or a combination of both.


About the author

Pat Caldwell

FundApps are pioneering the UK RegTech scene. With 23 nationalities, 35% female representation and 18 languages across a team of 40, FundApps are proud of their diversity. Learn more and join their team.


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