Diageo announces move to an equal parental leave policy.
Drinks maker Diageo has announced plans to offer all new parents in the UK six months of fully paid leave, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or whether they become parents biologically, via surrogacy or adopt.
Parents employed by Diageo in the UK will be eligible for the same fully-paid 26 weeks and will retain benefits and bonuses. The company becomes one of a select few in the UK who are moving to equal parental leave policies. Aviva has a similar policy and says that between introduction in 2017 and 2018 67% of eligible fathers chose to take six months off work and 95% took more than a fortnight.
Diageo says the move to an equal parental pay policy is part of its work to support gender equality and “to create a fully inclusive and diverse workforce, where barriers to career progression are removed and talent is retained and nurtured”.
The offer is open to all of Diageo’s 4,500 employees across the UK, including approximately 3,100 employees in Scotland who are primarily in manufacturing roles.
Diageo says the new policy also strengthens the support for parents as they return to work including the option of keeping in touch days, parental coaching, flexible working policies and access to free independent counselling.
Mairéad Nayager, Chief HR Officer, said: “True gender equality in the working world requires fundamental changes to a broad range of working practices, including a shake-up of the policies and cultural norms around parental leave. Today’s announcement is about matching ambition with action and supporting all of our colleagues – regardless of gender – to experience the joy of raising a young family, while continuing to thrive at work.”
Yesterday O2 announced that it will increase its paid paternity leave to 14 weeks for all permanent employees, covering heterosexual and same-sex couples, as well as adoptive and surrogate partners.