Changes to West Midlands Fire Service’s (WMFS) maternity, paternity and adoption leave provisions will make the organisation the first fire service in the country to increase maternity pay to 52 weeks.
Proposals approved by the WMFS leadership team will ensure that, from 1 January 2024, WMFS staff will be eligible for 52 weeks fully paid leave for maternity and adoption pay, with two weeks paternity pay for fathers. This is a significant increase to previous provision and makes WMFS the first fire service in England to offer this to its staff.
The changes are part of a broader programme to support staff’s work-life balance and continue to focus on how WMFS can best support the people that make up the second-largest fire and rescue service in England.
Chief Fire Officer Wayne Brown said: “I am delighted that we are able to extend our offer to our staff.
“It would be easy to just focus on how we continually improve our prevention, protection and response work, but what sits behind that are our staff. The better we look after them, the better they can serve our communities.
“We were extremely proud of our award of the UK’s most inclusive employer last year and pledged that we would not rest on our laurels: that we would look at how we can continue to be sector leaders in the support we offer to our staff. These proposals, which will now be consulted on with staff and trade unions, further embed our commitment to continuous improvement across the service.”