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Serco announces enhanced maternity and paternity leave for employees

Published: 8 Mar 2024

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: On International Women’s Day Serco has announced that it has extended its maternity and paternity leave benefits beyond local statutory requirements, aligning with its commitment to fostering a diverse and supportive workplace for all.

In the UAE, Serco employees’ maternity leave has been extended from 60 to 90 calendar days with full pay, with an additional 30 calendar days at half pay. Whilst in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), maternity leave has been extended from 70 to 90 calendar days with full pay, with an additional 30 calendar days at half pay.

The new benefit exceeds entitlements provided in local labour laws by an additional 45 calendar days at full pay and 15 days half pay in the UAE and 20 calendar days full pay and 30 calendar days half pay in KSA. In addition, Serco’s family-friendly policies allows up to a year unpaid leave for women who have recently had a baby from the date of birth.

Recognising the importance of providing new fathers with time to welcome in their new arrival, Serco has also extended its paternity leave policy from five days to 10 days in the UAE and KSA.

This progressive approach to employee benefits mirrors Serco's broader commitment to gender equality. With an executive leadership team comprising of 50% women, and 42% of critical management roles held by female employees, the trajectory towards an equitable workplace is clear. The company also witnessed a notable rise in national females joining the business since last year, with 70 women joining in 2023 (up from 30 in 2022), marking an increase of 40 women. Additionally, 19% of promotions and new roles went to women in 2023, signaling the effectiveness of its inclusive policies, and the wider commitment to bringing the government’s national visions to life. New mothers are also encouraged to make the most of a wealth of family-friendly policies offered, which includes hybrid flexible working and nursing hours so that mothers can balance their work schedules with their parental duties.

Samantha Rowles, Operations Director – Transport at Serco Middle East said:

"At Serco we are committed to establishing a workplace where diversity thrives and career advancement, regardless of gender, is supported through internal policies and strategy. Our enhanced parental leave policies are a testament to this commitment, serving as a cornerstone in our ambition to be an employer of choice for women and parents in the Middle East.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, our improved leave benefits symbolise our investment in employee wellbeing and our pledge to cultivate a workforce where every member is valued and given the tools to succeed. We understand the importance of a supportive start for families and are dedicated to consistently promoting a work-life balance that meets the evolving needs of all our employees."

The new parental benefits from Serco add to a suite of other work-life balance benefits that employees at the company can enjoy.  As part of its Total Reward offering, which relates to the company’s investment in Wellbeing, Work Environment, Development and Engagement, employees are offered training courses, wellbeing weeks, onsite health checkups, Award-recognitions, as well as regular performance and career check-ins to aid their career development. Such benefits highlight Serco’s ambition and commitment to providing the right environment and culture for women to thrive in, nurtured carefully by its Total Reward and value proposition.