Global firm Baker McKenzie has announced it will raise paid paternity leave from two weeks to 12, as part of updated policies designed to support families.

The extended leave can be taken at any time during the first year of a child’s birth or adoption. The policy change comes into force with immediate effect, and will be further offered to qualifying employees whose baby was born after 1 July 2021.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie has announced a raft of changes aimed at supporting families

Source: Darren Filkins

The firm is separately introducing a dedicated parenting area for new mothers, pregnant employees and parents in order to help facilitate the transition back to work. An area will be provided for parents coming into the office for a keep-in-touch day to change babies, bottle-feed or breastfeed, while there will also be a room for pregnant mothers to rest during the working day.

Baker McKenzie said it will also introduce a pregnancy loss policy to support staff who might require support after a miscarriage, still-birth, neo-natal loss unsuccessful fertility treatment or abortion. Those who require time away will be eligible for up to five days’ leave, fully paid, and can request a further period away from work if they need it. This policy is in place with immediate effect.

Ed Poulton, Baker McKenzie’s London managing partner, said: ‘Ours is an inclusive firm, and we recognise that no two families or their circumstances are quite the same. Acknowledging at least some of these differences, and building empathy and greater flexibility into our policies, helps us to be a more supportive employer.’