Firms lack transparency over support for working parents
Only a small minority of the UK investment management firms are disclosing how they support working parents, and the support that is available has been described as “invisible”.
The Parental Fog Index 2020, a new report published by Executive Coaching Consultancy (ECC), found that 73% of investment management firms fail to disclose basic information on pay and duration of parental leave and flexible work arrangements.
The first Parental Fog Index was published last year in order to help employers prepare to meet the requirements of the Parental Leave and Pay Arrangements (Publication) Bill.
The key recommendation of the bill is that companies with over 250 employees have to publish an annual statement of their entitlement to parental leave. That includes statutory pay, and any pay and benefits they would be entitled to while on parental leave.
The ECC’s report found that only 27% of firms publish comprehensive details of parental policies including details of pay and duration of parental pay and leave, and 54% of the firms audited made no mention of shared parental leave.
Geraldine Gallacher, CEO of the ECC and author of the report, said: “The implications of these findings for those responsible for attracting and nurturing future talent are clear: firms across the sector need to up their game when it comes to transparency around the support they offer working parents.”
The report suggested that firms would face competition from other industries if they do not get the parental policies in order. It found that the popularity of finance careers has dropped by 22% in favour of careers in technology, and that the number of dual-career parents has reached a record high.
Gallacher added: “Firms need to understand the critical role that transparency plays in talent attraction, particularly now that COVID-19 has driven all search and recruitment activity online. We know that many employers provide more support for working parents than appears on their website.
“We also know that the expectation that applicants will ask information on support for working parents at interview stage acts as a deterrent to prospective employees as many fear doing so will raise doubts in the interviewer’s mind about their career ambitions.”
In addition to more clarity about the support offered to working parents, the report called on employers for radical transparency about the impact that support has on the pay and progress of women’s careers, and for men to equally share work and care.