HR professionals see retaining female talent after parental leave as their top concern when it comes to family friendly working, but the majority don’t provide any support during the maternity process, according to a new survey.
The benchmarking survey of 300 HR professionals by My Family Care who provide family-friendly employer solutions and recruitment experts Hydrogen covered a range of family friendly policies and found that the most popular included proactive support and communication of flexible working, parents networks and childcare advice.
Nearly three quarters (70%) said retaining female talent after parental leave was the most important issue for them, but 60% provided no coaching or training to support employees going through the parental transition.
In terms of the success of their family friendly initiatives, flexible working was rated the most successful, followed by childcare voucher schemes and enhanced maternity or Shared Parental pay. However, the enhancement of Shared Parental pay is still far behind the enhancement of Maternity or Adoption pay with 57% of respondents enhancing the latter, but just one in four enhancing Shared Parental pay (SPP). However, of those who don’t enhance SPP, 61% said they were reviewing their policies and may enhance in the future.
Ian Temple, CEO of Hydrogen, said: “We see first-hand how hard it is for organisations to find the right people with the right skills, especially in the context of an increasing UK skills gap. Those that want to create or maintain a diverse and highly skilled workforce need to work harder than ever before to support their existing staff throughout their career and life.
“Family friendly benefits are slowly improving amongst some forward thinking employers; enhanced maternity or paternity pay, remote and flexible working arrangements are becoming more commonplace, but for many employers there is still a huge amount of work to be done. The line between life and work is blurring and for many of the highly skilled people that we talk to, family friendly benefits are now a high impact decision factor when seeking a new role.”
The report breaks down the data for different sectors and from that My Family Care and Hydrogen say it appears the public sector, charity, health and social care and education sectors are the most ‘generous’ employers.