Accenture sees 12% of new fathers take shared parental leave

More than one in 10 (12%) new fathers at management consulting and professional services organisation Accenture are currently taking shared parental leave.

More than 150 employees from all career levels and areas of the business have taken shared parental leave since the government introduced the policy in April 2015.

Shared parental leave, which was introduced for babies due on or after 5 April 2015, allows eligible parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of statutory shared parental pay with their partner. Statutory pay is £140.98 a week or 90% of an employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower. Parents can take leave in alternate blocks or both be off work at the same time.

Accenture offers 32 weeks of shared parental leave at full pay.

The organisation has a range of measures in place to communicate and promote its shared parental leave policy to employees, including virtual awareness workshops that enable staff to learn more about the policy in general, and scenario-planning classes with the organisation’s in-house HR team. The classes allow employees to find out about the different options available when taking shared parental leave, and talk through which options would be most beneficial for them personally.

In addition, Accenture hosts in-house events around shared parental leave, where a member of staff who has taken advantage of the policy will lead a presentation about their experience, showcasing how the benefit can be utilised.

Shared parental leave is further supported by the organisation’s informal support networks, in particular the networks based around family and gender.

Payal Vasudeva, managing director at Accenture Strategy, said: “Accenture is continuing to champion initiatives that support gender equality in the workplace such as shared parental leave. By communicating actively about our shared parental leave programme and sharing the experiences of those who have benefitted from it, we aim to help drive the cultural shift required to ensure more men are taking parental leave.

“We are encouraged to see that more than 150 pioneering employees from all areas of our business and all career levels have already taken advantage of Accenture’s enhanced package of up to 32 weeks’ fully-paid shared parental leave, to spend more time with their children.