Lovewell’s logic: Should employers publicly disclose parental leave policies?

Last week, parenting network Mumsnet called on FTSE 250 employers to publish their parental leave policies, after identifying that only 15 currently do so, despite the majority publicising details of other benefits they offer to staff.

Why an organisation would choose not to publish details of its parental leave policies is unclear. Indeed, a Mumsnet survey of 1,000 parents and prospective parents found that openness around these policies could have a significant impact on their decision when changing jobs or choosing to return to work after starting a family. More than four-fifths (82%), for example, said that they were reluctant to ask about parental leave policies due to concerns it would diminish their chances of a job offer, while two-thirds said that, on at least one occasion, they have found it difficult or impossible to find the relevant information when considering a position.

The silence that seems to exist around parental leave policies does not mean that these organisations are offering poor benefits in this area. While some may, quite rightly, have concerns that they are simply not competitive, others may well be unknowingly hiding their light under a bushel.

This month alone, commercial real estate firm Cushman and Wakefield, fitting and refurbishing organsiation BW, law firm Paul Hastings and telecommunications provider Vodafone have all enhanced their parental benefits; this is an area of importance to employers of all sizes, across a variety of sectors.

According to Mumsnet, more employers have committed to publishing details of their parental leave polices in due course, so it will be interesting to see which organisations follow suit.

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With the boundaries between work and life becoming increasingly blurred, employers that can clearly demonstrate that they support employees both during and away from work are likely to reap rewards when it comes to recruiting and retaining top talent. Fully disclosing details of parental leave policies could be a quick win when it comes to building a corporate reputation.

Debbie Lovewell-Tuck
Tweet: @DebbieLovewell