201% rise in jobs offering extended parental leave

The number of roles with extended parental leave being advertised by employers has more than tripled in the past three years, according to new research by Indeed.

The job site analysed postings on its platform and found that the number of vacancies boasting an enhanced parental leave package is now three times higher than it was three years ago, with mentions of shared parental leave rising by 206% since 2018.

The retailer Boots, which tops Indeed’s list of companies with the most job postings highlighting generous parental leave, offers enhanced maternity pay for staff. BMI Healthcare, which is second on the list, offers up to 52 weeks of maternity and adoption leave paid in full for the first 13 weeks, as well as two weeks at full pay for paternity leave.

Indeed’s own maternity pay benefit for eligible UK employees is 100% of their base weekly earnings for 26 weeks, with six weeks of paid time off for secondary caregivers to spend with their new addition.

Paul Wolfe, senior vice president of global human resources at Indeed, commented that it is encouraging to see a growing number of companies in a wide variety of sectors go above and beyond to give their employees extended parental leave, but warns that employers must also remember that parenting does not stop once staff return.

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“Paid leave programmes help improve a person’s wellbeing and when an employee is happy and feels appreciated it has a positive knock-on effect on their productivity and loyalty. For employers, it’s important that programmes are inclusive and to understand that there are many different types of families in your workplace when ensuring whoever is the primary caregiver has time with their newborn,” he said.

In the UK, statutory maternity leave lasts up to 52 weeks with statutory pay covering the first 39 weeks, while statutory paternity leave lasts just two weeks. Since 2015, couples have been able to share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay if they take shared parental leave.