Over half of UK companies use parental leave policies to attract the best talent

More than half of UK companies said that attracting and retaining talent is the main reason why companies offer better parental leave policies.

This survey was produced by Bright Horizons, a global childcare and employee benefits provider in partnership with HRreview. It found that 54 per cent of companies believe that in order to compete for the best employees, it needs to offer a strong parental leave policy.

Research also found that the other reasons for offering a decent parental leave package was supporting the working father (27 per cent) and closing the gender pay gap (25 per cent).

Employers seem to be embracing the idea of shared parental leave with 35 per cent of them having enhanced their Shared Parental Leave pay since 2015.

More than three-quarters (77 per cent) of companies have enhanced their maternity pay which includes adoption and surrogacy beyond the minimum required by law.

However, only 43 per cent of companies offer a full two weeks paid paternity leave, with 9 per cent offering more.

The Moneysupermarket Group who have received recognition for their Shared Parental Leave with their benefits for working families include equal parental leave and enhanced maternity/adoption and paternity/partner leave. They have also launched Work: Your Way, a flexible working programme and the Parental Leave Toolkit, an app for expecting parents.

Aneta Weedon, head of inclusion and engagement at Moneysupermarket Group said:

Moneysupermarket Group are delighted to achieve number five ranking – and number one ranking in fintech category – in the 2019 Parental Leave Benchmark. We care deeply about being an inclusive and welcoming place to work for parents, and have made a concerted effort to effect real cultural change. From enhancing and equalising parental leave policies, offering online coaching support for new parents and their line managers, and creating a parents’ network, significantly improving our gender pay gap, we work hard to normalise conversations about career and family.

In addition, ‘Work:Your Way’, our approach to flexible working has been featured in Forbes as an example of innovative approach in financial services. However, we know we have more to do in this area and continue to focus on maintaining momentum towards positive progress.

James Tugendhat, Managing Director International, Bright Horizons, said:

As the global race for talent heats up, it’s clear that the need for family-friendly and effective parental leave policies is more important than ever. Measures such as Shared Parental Leave, flexible working and the provision of dependant care services are not only the right thing to do but bring return on investment in terms of attracting, retaining and engaging the very best talent.

However, policy alone is only the starting point. If we are to effect real cultural change, the senior leadership of an organisation must also support policies through their actions and become role models for others. We need the topic of combining work and family to be discussed openly and normalised in the workplace, paving the way for everyone – mothers, fathers, grandparents and carers – to grow and thrive both at home and at work.

The survey asked 400 companies on their opinions on parental leave policies.





Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.