Call for more openness about parental leave policies

Mumsnet analysis shows the vast majority of FTSE250 companies don’t publish their parental leave policies.

man and woman's feet standing next to empty baby shoes


Companies in the FTSE250 are more likely to publicise the availability of fresh fruit, free eye tests and in-house massage therapy than they are to publish details of their parental leave policies, according to an analysis by Mumsnet.

It found that only 15 companies – 6% of the FTSE250 – told job hunters how much paid leave they could expect, and at what levels of pay, if they have a baby.

They cited the fact that Greggs publishes details of staff discounts on its food products and Pets At Home publishes details of its ‘peternity’ leave policy for people who recently acquire pets. Neither, however, publishes its parental leave policies. Another company publishes details of 19 separate benefits policies – but doesn’t include maternity, paternity or adoption leave.

Mumsnet is calling for large employers to publish their parental leave policies. It follows a survey of employees which found more than eight out of 10 said they were reluctant to ask potential employers about parental leave policies because they feared it ‘would make a job offer less likely’.

After the analysis showed that just 23 of the FTSE100 published their policies, Mumsnet wrote to the others asking them to consider publishing. Four companies – Hiscox, Sainsbury’s, Landsec and Standard Life – have published their policies as a result and 12 companies, including ITV, Just Eat and Paddy Power, have committed to publishing their policies in the near future. Mumsnet says a further eight have said they will actively review taking this step. The Association of British Insurers has also recently announced that many of its members have committed to publishing their policies.

As for the FTSE250, the analysis showed just 15 of the 250 companies published their policies, and only two (Rathbones and Unite Students) have published their policies since they were contacted by Mumsnet. So far, 16 companies (including Capita and Talk Talk) have said that they intend to publish in the near future and 13  (including Pets at Home and Serco) say they are actively reviewing their policies.

Mumsnet Founder Justine Roberts said: “We’re pleased that so many FTSE100 companies are committed to doing the right thing; our hope is that this sort of transparency will help close the gender pay gap and encourage a race to the top in terms of parental policies. For companies with over 250 employees, publishing policies may soon become a statutory requirement, so why not get ahead of the game?”

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