39% of staff believe parental leave should be more inclusive

More than one-third (39%) of employees think their employer should do more to make their parental leave policy more inclusive, according to research by global employment and HR firm Remote.

Its Pride in parenting: how workplaces can offer inclusive parental leave policies report, which surveyed 5,708 full-time employees across 11 markets and 544 employers in the UK and US also found that 47% of employees believe an inclusive parental leave policy means having a gender-neutral approach, while the same proportion would decline a job offer if the organisation’s parental policies did not meet their expectations.

More than half (51%) believe an inclusive parental leave policy means giving same-sex couples the same leave as different-sex couples, and 53% think it means giving adoptive couples the same leave as birth parents.

Meanwhile, 70% of employers said having inclusive leave policies in place for parents helps attract and retain diverse employees, and 66% believe these help to attract and retain top-performing employees.

Amanda Day, director of people enablement at Remote, said: “In a world in which we always strive to be more inclusive and intentional about including all genders, parental leave is a key area of focus. Parental leave covers all aspects of becoming a parent, without referencing a specific gender. It also implies that any parent with a child under one year old can take parental leave, without making assumptions of who will be taking care of the child. Flexibility and choice matter most to employees.

Sign up to our newsletters

Receive news and guidance on a range of HR issues direct to your inbox

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

“Importantly, allowing parents to go part-time before and after parental leave helps them to readjust to the upcoming changes, and ease themselves into their new routine. This can help effectively prepare, and it allows employees to build confidence when returning to the workplace.”

Barbara Matthews, chief people officer at Remote, added: “Showing pride and respect for parenting through inclusive parental policies will not only bolster employees’ personal lives but will directly pay back into the success of the business.”