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Clyde & Co launches gender-neutral 26-week parental leave policy

Clyde & Co has launched a new global gender-neutral parental leave offering, in a move that will reportedly improve gender diversity at a senior level.

user iconLauren Croft 22 May 2023 Big Law
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The globally consistent parental leave offering includes access to 26 weeks of fully paid leave, regardless of gender or parental role, and is available for all employees and partners across the firm with 12 months’ service.

According to the firm, the new global offering seeks to provide employees with greater, more inclusive support when they become parents, more effective support as they transition back to work, and consistent support as they balance ongoing work and family care.

Effective 1 May 2023, staff in any of the firm’s offices around the world will now have access to full pay for 26 weeks of parental leave, except where local legislation allows for more. The policy replaces previous maternity and paternity leave entitlements to provide a consistent, cohesive offering to firm employees.


The parental leave offering is gender neutral and applies to primary and secondary parents and carers, including adopters, something which Clyde & Co senior partner Carolena Gordon said was “crucial”.

“Having access, no matter your gender, consistent and flexible parental leave is crucial to so many people both within our firm and across the wider world of work. We know how much goes into starting a family and the challenges that balancing home and work brings, especially when working in a high-performance environment,” she said.

“We want to help our people build careers with us and fulfil their potential here. We also believe our offering is an important means of improving gender diversity, particularly at a senior level where law firms have typically struggled to make significant progress.”

The new parental leave offering also includes 10 days of fully paid leave for fertility treatment, four weeks of fully paid (before 20 weeks of pregnancy) pregnancy loss leave for women or anyone suffering a pregnancy loss directly, and up to 26 weeks of paid leave after 20 weeks pregnancy for all, regardless of gender.

In addition, parents with children in neonatal care will be able to access up to 12 weeks of additional paid leave, and fee earners will be given parental transition coaching and parental leave sponsors. Employees will also have consistent access to backup childcare provision and five days of emergency leave a year.

Clyde & Co partner and chair of the Asia-Pacific board Simon McConnell said this policy had wide-reaching benefits across the globe.

“This offering is one of the most comprehensive in the industry and represents a significant uplift from our previous entitlements,” he said.

“We are one global firm, and taking this step also ensures that our employees have access to the same benefits across the world, no matter which location they work in.”

Employees can access the new policy immediately with retrospective eligibility for those already on or recently returned from parental leave.

Clyde & Co Australia managing partner Lucinda Lyons (pictured) added that the new policy was an important step forward for the firm.

“This important change reflects our values as a business,” she said.

“The firm is the sum of its people, and implementing this policy is one step to ensure that every member of staff is supported in building a long-term, successful career with us — regardless of whether they are the primary or secondary carer.”

Lawyers Weekly has reported extensively on the bolstering of parental leave and related policies by Australian law firms in recent times. You can read those stories below: