Employers failing to make public their parental leave policies

New report shows many employers are not publishing their parental leave and pay policies on their websites.

UK Maternity pay and leave

Maternity pay and leave is a minefield and many working mums continue to be confused

Less than 20 per cent of employers in the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers list publish details of their parental leave policies, according to a new report by the Executive Coaching Company.

The report, The Parental Fog Index, comes as Parliament is considering measures to require employers with over 250 employees to publish their policies on parental leave and pay.

The Executive Coaching Company analysed the websites of the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers and found just 18 are compliant with the Parental Leave and Pay Arrangements Bill. The Bill aims to bring transparency to what employers are doing to support working parents. Employers will be able to learn from each other and understand what initiatives are working, and why, and think about this support as a core component of their talent management strategy.

For the report, employers were ranked according to their mention of policies around different types of parental leave and pay, awards for supporting parents, specified commitment to working parents, flexible working policies, case studies, testimonies and reference to tracking pay and career progress of flexible workers.

Those who do almost all of the above were awarded ‘beacon’ status, showing their support for parents ‘runs through their DNA’.  Just four firms are in the beacon category: Accenture, EY, PwC and the Civil Service. The Executive Coaching Company pointed out that just over half the websites searched did not contain a single reference to Shared Parental Leave [SPL] and only 24 included details of pay and duration. The financial impact of taking SPL has been a key concern for those considering taking it as has lack of clear information about it. The report shows that there is even less detail for maternity leave [just 23 employers give details about pay and duration] and paternity leave [just 22 give details]. Moreover, despite 60 referencing flexible working, just 13 give details about how their policy works.

The report has recommendations for employers about the need to look at what the beacon companies are doing, consider support for working parents as a key branding issues, get external validation of policies and generally let people know about any policies that go above and beyond the norm.

Geraldine Gallacher, ECC managing director, said: “The number of working parents in the workforce is rising and most will apply for jobs with little idea what support a potential employer will give them to manage work and childcare responsibilities. It isn’t realistic to expect applicants to ask for this information at interview stage as many fear doing so will raise doubts in the interviewer’s mind about their career ambitions.”

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