06/10/2015 10:46 EDT | Updated 06/11/2015 10:59 EDT

Richard Branson Announces New Paid Paternity Leave Policy

Sir Richard Branson just made a bold move. The Virgin Group founder has announced that new fathers working for his company will receive paid paternity leave for one year. And that includes adoptive parents, too!

“I believe if you take care of your employees they will take care of your business,” the British billionaire said. “As a father and now a proud granddad to three wonderful grandchildren, I know how magical the first year of a child’s life is but also how much hard work it takes. I’m delighted that we can offer this support to our staff so that they can enjoy parental leave to the full.”

In order to receive 100 per cent of pay, employees need to have been with the company for at least four years. Those with less than two years of service will only receive 25 per cent of their pay.

Branson’s new policy coincides with UK’s shared parental leave legislation, which was announced earlier this year. The new legislation states that moms and dads are entitled to up to 50 weeks of shared parental leave. Virgin already offers female workers one-year paid leave.

“This is a groundbreaking move from Virgin Management, which demonstrates that the health and well-being of our people is at our core,” company CEO Josh Bayliss said. “Having a child is a life-changing experience and this policy means our employees have the opportunity to enjoy time with their families and have a great career.”


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