By Daniel Hunter

EY has announced that it will offer 39 weeks of "enhanced" leave, after new Shared Parental Leave laws came into effect on Sunday.

The new regulations brought in by the government mean that new parents will now be able to share up to 50 weeks of parental leave.

But EY is the first major organisation to announced additions to the mandatory minimum. EY is offering additional pay on top of the statutory entitlement for 39 weeks — six weeks full pay, followed by 33 weeks half pay — the equivalent of two-and-a-half weeks more pay than previously offered. Parents will also be able to take up to 20 ‘in touch’ days (SPLIT days) per parent.

The professional services firm said that new measures will "equalise the firm’s approach to mothers, fathers, partners and adoptive parents (parents), offering them greater flexibility and choice over how their child is cared for in the first year of its life".

Liz Bingham, EY’s Managing Partner for Talent, UK & Ireland, said: “Our approach to shared parental leave (SPL) is another example of our commitment to creating a great place to work for parents. It empowers parents to make choices about childcare that suits their own individual circumstances.

“At the same time it is a solid footstep to modernising the workplace, challenging outdated stereotypes and granting greater equality for fathers, adoptive parents and same sex couples.

“Creating a working environment where people have greater control over their work-life balance is a personal and commercial imperative; it results in more fulfilled people, higher performing teams, better results for our clients and we recruit and retain the best talent.”

Last week in the Fresh Business Thinking Business Advice section, Enterprise Rent-a-Car explained why employers shouldn't make Shared Parental Leave a taboo during interviews. You can read the article here.