36% offer global parental leave policy

Ilya Bonic

Just over one-third (36%) of respondents worldwide have a global parental leave policy covering multiple types of leave, according to research by Mercer.

Its Global parental leave report, which surveyed 1,200 organisations globally, of which 112 are based in the UK, also found that 64% of respondents provide maternity leave for the birth mother only, while 24% of respondents offer this leave to the primary caregiver, regardless of gender.

The research also found:

  • 38% of respondents provide a paid paternity leave at a level above the statutory minimum.
  • 54% of respondents offer paternity leave to the birth father only, but an additional 34% provide this leave for either the birth father or secondary caregiver, regardless of gender.
  • 19% of respondents that have a global policy in place cover all four types of leave, including maternity, paternity, adoption and parental.
  • Of the two-thirds of respondents which do not currently have a global policy in place, 12% are considering implementing one in the future.

Ilya Bonic (pictured), senior partner and president of the talent business at Mercer, said: “As benefits play a more significant role in employees’ choice of employer, parental leave policies are expanding beyond traditional maternity leave provisions.

Parental leave policies can have a positive effect on both employees and employers; they help the workforce maintain a better work-life balance, especially the younger generation, and they promote the [organisation] as a more attractive place to work, improving retention during a time of continued demand for highly-skilled talent.

“The complexity of different local statutory requirements along with administrative intricacies may make a global parental leave policy seem impractical. Despite these concerns, some compelling reasons, like no longer adhering to requirements that are not compatible with diversity and equality strategies and creating a level playing field for employees in all countries, have prompted [organisations] to consider a global policy.”