Diageo, Investec and Aviva top the tables for best maternity and paternity leave.
Paternity leave lags behind for most.
Research from Equileap, the leading organisation providing data and insights on gender equality, has found more than four out of five parents are reluctant to ask potential employers about maternity packages. Moreover, the company suggests it can be a challenge to locate this kind of information as it’s not always publicly available.
However, Equileap has produced a table of employers offering maternity leave and there are three companies at the top of the table offering 26 weeks full pay for both primary and secondary carers; Diageo, Investec and insurance giant Aviva. The government stipulates that employers must pay new mothers (primary carers) a minimum of 90 per cent of their weekly earnings (before tax) for the first six weeks followed by a payment of £148.68 per week for the remaining 33 weeks. Unfortunately this is below the median weekly salary of £569 which creates more pressure for new mums to return to work if they don’t have a competitive employer package.
Diageo, Investec and Aviva were the only three companies identified in the study to offer the same amount of paid leave to both parents. The Equileap research was carried out across all UK public sector companies with a market capitalisation above $2 billion.
|Company||Full maternity pay – weeks||Full secondary carer pay – weeks|
|ROYAL MAIL PLC||26||2|
|STANDARD CHARTERED PLC||20||2|
|3I GROUP PLC||18||2|
|RIO TINTO PLC||18||1|
“Sadly, not many companies are offering equal opportunities for men and women when it comes to maternity and paternity leave, with most offering just a couple of weeks to men,” said Diana van Maasdijk, CEO at Equileap. “A strong paternity package is essential to create equality in the workplace. At the moment it is nearly always the responsibility of a woman to take time out of their career for children whether they want to or not. Surely men have just as much right to balance their personal and professional life?
“In an ideal world, every employer would publish this information both internally and externally, leaving no mystery around company policies,” Diana adds. “This empowers those who are looking to expand their family and allows them to factor this into their job search. Sadly, no one is going to broach this subject at an interview and so many people are forced to dig around in secondary sources to find out if the business offers a competitive package. The government has been pushing companies with more than 250 employees to make this information publicly available in the same way they do with gender pay, I look forward to seeing this come to fruition.”