Boots, DFS and Sainsbury’s rank top for enhanced parental benefits


Beauty and pharmacy retailer Boots has topped the list of UK businesses offering the most roles with enhanced parental leave benefits, according to hiring platform Indeed.

Enhanced parental leave was defined as a provision above the statutory minimum, which Indeed tracked through the use of terms including ‘generous’, ‘extended’, ‘competitive’, ‘enhanced’ or ‘market-leading’ referring to maternity, paternity or parental leave.

In addition to Boots, the top five employers for enhanced parental benefits also included DFS Furniture Stores and Sainsbury’s, while The Ministry of Defence was the highest ranked public sector employer, with a parental leave policy offering 100% of salary during the first 26 weeks of maternity leave. However, overall it fell from sixth position in Indeed’s analysis this time last year, to 12th in 2022.

Alongside the rankings, Indeed conducted research that found that the number of UK positions offering enhanced parental leave had more than doubled, increasing by 102% compared with last year.

The research also found that adverts for positions mentioning shared parental leave had increased by the same amount (102%).

The overall number of vacancies which advertise enhanced parental leave was found to have risen by 1,316% since 2017. The number of positions with shared parental leave was found to have risen by 279% since 2019.

The top 10 UK businesses for enhanced parental leave benefits were: 

  • Boots
  • DFS Furniture Stores
  • Circle Health Group
  • Sainsbury’s
  • N Family Club
  • Vodafone
  • Hollywood Bowl Group
  • CVS Group
  • Jacobs

Glenda Kirby, VP of client success EMEA at Indeed, said: “The first months of a child’s life are an exciting and tender time for parents but they can also feel like a whirlwind and start to take their toll. During this time and throughout the rest of their careers it’s important parents feel supported by their employers so it’s encouraging to see a growing number go above and beyond when it comes to enhanced parental leave.

“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. Policies targeted at fathers and secondary caregivers also help shift household tasks away from women, who traditionally have performed these.

“Work needs women and by providing better access to better parental leave employers can help build stronger family lives that we know causes a ripple effect into the workplace and wider society.”

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Jemima Olchawski, CEO at gender equality and women’s rights charity Fawcett Society, said: “Many working women balance the demands of becoming a parent with the pressure of taking time away from work to start a family and when they return, this is often on reduced hours and balanced alongside childcare.

“It’s encouraging to see many large employers offering enhanced parental leave schemes to support women but also to shift expectations and encourage men to take up parental leave. This will not only have a positive impact on gender equality and pay equity at work, but also supporting equality at home and in childcare too.”