Majority of employers still fall short on parental leave transparency

A new report on employers’ transparency when it comes to their parental leave policies shows a growing divide between beacon employers and others, with only 37% publishing policy details.



The divide between employers who are transparent about the parental leave support they offer and those who aren’t is growing, according to a report published today, which finds the majority of firms are still not doing enough to make parents aware of what they offer.

The report,  “The 2021 Parental Fog Index: Cross-Industry Report”, is the third yearly benchmark by gender diversity site ECC [Executive Coaching Consultancy] of the transparency of parental benefits for the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers, as published on their websites.

The research found that across the board, companies are making more effort to position themselves as family-friendly.

A total of 37% of companies now publish policy details, including pay and duration of parental leave up from 24% in 2020 and 18% in 2019.

Among the 63% of companies who did not disclose these details, the number who provided no clear details of parental benefits fell to 26% from 44% in 2020. The remaining 37% simply provided generic details, up 5% from 2020.

Overall the number of companies who improved their ranking almost doubled to 40%, showing that post-pandemic, employer awareness of the need to be transparent on parental benefits is increasing.

The study, which placed employers into five categories of visibility, rated 11% of employers in its top ‘beacon’ group up from 9% last year. A further 26% of businesses reached ‘fully visible’ status.  In addition to publishing full details of parental policies, these employers actively market their support to working parents as core to their employer brand.

ECC says that for over half of employers rated visible, invisible or ‘foggy’ [employers who say they support working parents but don’t say how] adding parental policies including pay and duration of parental leave would see them meet the threshold for parental transparency making them fully visible.

Geraldine Gallacher, CEO of ECC said: “The gap is widening between top employers that actively market their family friendly credentials and those that are still leaving candidates in the dark about pay and benefits for working parents.

“In a recruitment market that favours employees, leading employers understand the need to meet employee expectations.  The pandemic has changed parents’ expectations.  Those that found it easier and more enjoyable to manage parenting while working from home don’t want to return to the treadmill, juggling work expectations that don’t accommodate their parental responsibilities.”

She added: “Employers that don’t speak directly to the needs of working parents appear tone deaf to calls for workplaces to be more family friendly and are putting themselves at a disadvantage in an increasingly competitive job market.”

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