’In recent years, there has been a push for companies to offer better parental leave pay,’ says chief executive

A new parental leave product launched by Innovative Risk Labs has been designed to ”level the recruitment and talent retention playing field” within the small to medium-sized business UK space.

That was according to the insurtech’s chief executive Ed Gaze, who told Insurance Times that he wanted the new product to make a “real impact” following its launch at the end of February.

Called JustParent, the new product has been designed to help employers provide comprehensive parental leave benefits without running the risk of prohibitive financial costs.

As part of this, the new product will offer full maternity and paternity pay for six months – statutory paternity pay is currently only for two weeks.

Gaze said SMEs ”typically don’t have the balance sheet to absorb volatile staff costs, which means they often can’t offer more generous, enhanced parental leave pay”.

“Therefore, SMEs are more likely to have just statutory, or slightly better than statutory, parental leave pay,” he added.

”In recent years, there has been a push for companies to offer better parental leave pay.”

For example, within the insurance space, insurer QBE has equalised family leave policies for new parents while RSA introduced a new equal parental leave policy.

Gaze said that his new product would support paternity pay for a minimum of six weeks up to the full six month period.

“We want to make a real impact with JustParent, hence setting our minimum at six weeks,” Gaze said.


The new product was launched in partnership with specialist insurer Apollo, which said that it also “provides a balance sheet protection for corporate entities to enable them to offer a better parental leave for all staff, regardless of gender”.

For example, the policy pays out when staff go on maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental or premature birth leave.

“For people who want to grow a family, it can be compelling to move to a business that offers substantial parental leave pay benefits,” Gaze said.

He added that the new product would help SMEs with budgeting, saying it would help them formulate a payroll budget for the year ahead.

Hayley Budd, innovation class leader at Apollo, added: ”The JustParent product will initially sit within the innovation vertical at Apollo ibott 1971, where we leverage the Lloyd’s ICX class with other markets to support new and innovative products.

“As these products mature, we will graduate them into our core syndicate, at which point we will strategically review where they are best housed within our broader portfolio.

“Occasionally, we expect these may fit best in their own independent buckets.”