'There is no one-size-fits-all for families, so we are supporting a range of scenarios, including when colleagues face very challenging circumstances.'

Seven weeks top up of parents leave for parents in the first two years (ROI)

Similarly, seven weeks top up of shared parental leave for parents (UK)

Now up to 13 weeks' paid leave for partners, when coupled with paternity leave entitlement

Introducing new foster care leave, early pregnancy loss leave, ten days' fertility leave, surrogacy leave formalised to match adoptive leave entitlements and extended breastfeeding breaks

As part of its ambition to be one of the best places to work in Ireland and Northern Ireland, Bank of Ireland Group plc has announced a range of both new and enhanced family friendly policies and supports. Launched to 9,000 colleagues across the Group today - and applicable to all colleagues based in Ireland, UK, EU and US, in line with local legislation - the Bank's Family Matters initiative will create a more supportive and inclusive environment for colleagues at different life stages.

The new benefits include:

Seven weeks top up of parents leave for parents in the first two years (ROI)

Seven weeks top up of shared parental leave in first year (UK)

Now 13 weeks' paid leave for partners, when coupled with paternity leave enhancements adopted in 2022.

New provision for foster care leave.

Ten days' leave for colleagues undergoing fertility treatments.

Surrogacy leave has now been formalised to match adoptive leave entitlements.

Early pregnancy leave for the loss of a baby under 24 weeks' gestation, available to all colleagues.

Extended breastfeeding breaks for parents with a child up to two-years of age.

Bank of Ireland has also made all family leave policies 'day-one' entitlements for colleagues, meaning they can avail of benefits from the first day of employment.

Myles O'Grady, Group CEO, Bank of Ireland said: As one of the largest employers in Ireland, we want to build a progressive workplace and contribute to a progressive society. This is also important for our business which competes hard to attract and retain the talent we need to serve our customers, support growing businesses, and also grow as a company.'

'We constantly challenge ourselves to foster a work environment where colleagues are treated with fairness and flexibility. There is no one-size-fits-all for families, so our people policies aim to support a range of scenarios, including when colleagues face very challenging circumstances.

'Family Matters is the culmination of a number of significant policy improvements we have implemented to ensure a supportive and inclusive culture for all colleagues. A key part of this is supporting colleagues throughout their careers and the milestones in their lives, like becoming a parent or a carer. Our new and enhanced policies will have a positive impact on both the personal and financial wellbeing of our 9,000 colleagues and their families'.

In developing Family Matters, Bank of Ireland reviewed all existing HR policies to identify new benefits which would best support colleagues. Family Matters benefits will complement existing initiatives introduced last year, including Menopause Leave, improved Paternity Leave and the Domestic Abuse Policy. Benefits are Groupwide with the exception of policies specific to the jurisdiction based on legislative differences.

The Bank has launched an informative Family Matters Handbook illustrating all key supports and benefits available, whatever the colleagues' journey.

Bank of Ireland colleagues in need of support can contact people managers confidentially or access the Bank's Family Matters Hub or Wellbeing App. They can also avail of the Group's Employee Assistance Programme, Here for you 24/7 which provides counselling and information services.

Notes to editor:

Bank of Ireland's new Family Matters Policy was developed following a review of existing policies.

New policies:

Early Pregnancy Loss

Breastfeeding Support

Foster Care Leave

Medical Leave

Shared Parental Leave (UK)

Parental Bereavement Leave (UK)

Existing policies:

Maternity Leave

Adoption Leave

Surrogacy Leave

Paternity Leave

Parental Leave

Parents Leave

Carer's Leave

Fertility Leave

Force Majeure Leave

(C) 2023 Electronic News Publishing, source ENP Newswire