Asda has launched a nation-wide scheme to give multiple-birth fathers an extra two weeks paid paternity leave.

Asda already gives fathers two weeks’ leave on full pay, which is over the legal requirement. Paid paternity leave can also be supplemented by a further three months unpaid leave.

The news comes as Chancellor Gordon Brown is expected to announce improvements to maternity pay provision in his pre-budget report.

Asda also offers its staff IVF Leave if needed, which is a scheme it launched in August 2003. This gives five days paid leave for omen undergoing fertility treatment.

Of its latest scheme, Helen Forbes director of Twins & Multiple Births Association (TAMBA), says: “This is exactly the sort of provision we would like to see companies across the UK making. We are delighted that Asda has taken the lead in recognising the additional burden placed on couples with twins and triplets in those early weeks and months, and the greater involvement that fathers of multiple births have.”