Less than half of employers offer enhanced maternity leave


Less than half (48%) of UK employers offer enhanced maternity pay to staff, according to research by Wolters Kluwer and Croner.

the Croner reward employee benefits report, which surveyed 127 employers, found that the most commonly offered enhances scheme was 12 to 13 weeks at full pay.

The research also found that less than a third of respondents offered paternity leave above the statutory minimum, with 62% offering full pay for a period of two weeks.

However, 49% of respondents highlighted that their organisation’s adoption leave policy mirrored the maternity benefits offered to staff.

The research found that:

  • 92% of respondents offer flexible-working arrangements to staff. The most common options are part-time working (91%), staggered hours (66%), flexitime (53%) and career breaks or sabbaticals (41%).
  • 88% of respondents have an enhanced sick pay scheme. The majority of participants give 10 days’ full pay as the minimum entitlement and six months as a maximum.
  • 36% of respondents give employees the option to buy or sell up to five days of holiday a year.
  • 21% of respondents do not have a formal policy regarding compassionate leave, but give management the discretion to authorise appropriate leave periods.
  • 78% of respondents offer benefits via salary sacrifice arrangements. Of these, childcare vouchers are the most popular and pensions the second most popular.

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Viv Copeland, head of reward at Wolters Kluwer, says: “While some family-friendly benefits, such as flexible working and childcare vouchers, have really grown in the last few years, the offer of enhanced maternity and paternity leave and pay still has a long way to go.

“The recent legislation around shared parental leave should bring some fresh thinking to this area from parents and employers alike.”