At Specialist Risk Group (SRG), we celebrate and recognise difference and our ‘D&I Celebrates’ series spotlights colleagues across our Group whose lives have been impacted by the culture and policies we have in place to support a diverse and inclusive working environment.
In this article, we hear from Nick Porter, Strategic Director at our specialist retail business, Specialist Risk Insurance Solutions (SRIS). Nick shares his experiences as a dad and the impact SRG’s enhanced Paternity and Family Leave policy has had on him and his young family, as well as the support he received from his team and manager to use his leave.
“I have been employed by the Group for nearly 12 years, during which time I have progressed in a variety of roles. I am now Strategic Director for our retail pillar, SRIS, focussing on engagement with our insurer partners and colleagues to drive strong organic and profitable growth.
I have grown as a person through my career here. I have got married, got a dog, and now have two children – Josephine and Otis. When we had Josephine, SRG had the standard two-week Paternity policy, and we were in the midst of COVID lockdowns. It was a very strange experience not being able to see anyone for the first couple of months but working from home meant I was able to spend more time with her which was great. We then got pregnant with baby Otis in 2022 and I was planning on having two weeks off, but a week before he was due, SRG launched its new, enhanced Paternity Leave policy which I was the first to benefit from.
How my family and I benefitted from this
Reading through it, I saw the company had increased paternity leave to four weeks, which was fantastic. There was also a new section included about shared parental leave which gave parents more flexibility in how to care for, and bond with, their child. Being able to take up to six months off, full pay, is quite forward-thinking for the industry. You hear about this being offered by the big insurers, but it is less common in broking. It allows you to take your four weeks paternity leave, in full or split into two 2-week blocks, as well as opting for the six months leave full pay, less the paternity leave taken. My wife and I considered all options and to start with were thinking that she would take six months maternity leave before going back to work, with me taking the shared parental leave. Even though it wasn’t the best option financially, my wife decided that she would like to take the full 12 months maternity leave and I had four weeks of leave with her and the baby.
Whilst discussing my leave and handover with my manager, Lee Anderson, he was extremely supportive and gave me the confidence to make the decision that was best suited for our circumstances.
The greater flexibility means there is not so much pressure on one parent, and it allowed my wife and I to work out what was best for our family personally and professionally. For any of my colleagues that are looking to have a baby soon, or in the future, I really do recommend looking at the different sections of the policy, discussing your options with your line manager and the People and Culture team as early as possible.
My experience at SRG
My experience at SRG has been excellent. My career has progressed really well and I have made great friends along the way. We have got big ambitions to grow and we are implementing new things all the time. We’ve come so far since launching SRG in 2020, welcoming lots of new colleagues organically and through acquisition, and there is a diverse group of individuals across the Group. I really enjoy working here and I am excited about the future. We’ve got a great strategy in place with fantastic colleagues, so it’s a really good place to be working.
What inclusion means to me
Inclusion for me means appreciating every single person as who they are, where they come from, where they want to be going and if they are on a journey. It’s taking people at face value and making them feel part of the team.”
Interested in finding out more about life at SRG? Click here.