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Pandemic drives UK businesses to improve parental leave

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Employers are three times more likely to offer generous and extended parental leave than three years ago, according to new research by job site Indeed.

While employers are legally obliged to give new parents paid leave, the number of job descriptions mentioning staff benefits over and above the statutory minimum has continued to rise.

The number of vacancies advertising an enhanced parental leave package has increased by 201% on Indeed since 2018.

Sej Khetani, the job site's senior HR business partner, said there are several reasons why more and more companies have improved their support.

He told HR magazine: "Balanced policies lead to happier families, which is better in the long-term for both workers and companies.

“Progressive programmes give families the support they need to be there for the crucial first months of a baby’s life and reassures them that their employers value and support their lives outside the office.”


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Khetani said generous schemes send a clear message that employers care about the health, wellbeing, and quality of life of the people and families that power their company.

“From a business perspective it has also become a valuable differentiator when attracting talent.

“It isn't just the right thing to do, it’s good for business and paid leave programmes increase worker retention and reduce turnover," he explained.

Looking ahead, Khetani said that the post-pandemic UK will likely see an increasing number of employers offering more generous parental leave policies to retain existing staff and to be seen as an attractive employer of choice.

"The pandemic has altered the 'norm' of working nine to five and we will see more agility and flexibility of working hours.

“This increased level of flexibility, including more roles being eligible for remote/part-time and the potential for a shorter working week, will be a huge support to parents.”

Khetani said these types of shifts can help support women progress up through the career ladder.

“It can help them to take up more senior positions, which would then hopefully show progression in gender pay gap reporting," he added.

 

Top 10 most parent-friendly employers according to Indeed

Ranking

Company

Sector

1

Boots UK

Retail

2

BMI Healthcare

Healthcare

3

DFS Furniture Stores

Retail

4

Elysium Healthcare

Healthcare

5

Vodafone 

Telecomms

6

UK Ministry of Defence

Public sector

7

Jardine Motors Group

Motoring

8

Loungers

Hospitality

9

IVC Evidensia

Veterinary

10

EE

Telecoms