Advanced search

MNHQ here: we’re launching a campaign calling on the government to make big employers publish their parental leave and pay policies - please help if you can

(16 Posts)
JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 26-Feb-19 10:46:26


Today we’re launching a campaign that calls on government to compel large employers to publicly publish their policies on maternity, paternity, adoption leave and pay - and we’d love your help...

The survey we ran over the last few weeks among parents and prospective parents, showed that eight out of ten (82%) are reluctant to ask potential employers about parental leave policies because they fear it ‘would make a job offer less likely’. 66% say they have avoided asking about parental leave policies at interview stage; 57% say they have avoided asking about parental leave policies after a job offer; and 40% have avoided asking about parental leave policies even after being employed.

We think this is a hidden form of discrimination against mothers and women thinking about pregnancy - as well as against those dads who want to play a full part in caring for young children during the early months. And given that the mechanism of gender pay gap reporting already exists, we also think there’s a really easy fix. LibDem Deputy Leader Jo Swinson introduced a bill to Parliament calling for this change last year, and in our survey 91% of you supported the idea.

So if you agree with this campaign, please do help us put some pressure on. Check out our campaign page where you’ll find instructions for how to tweet at your MP about it; please follow us @MumsnetTowers on Twitter and share our posts about the campaign; and if you’ve got time to email or write to your MPs, please do (and let us know what they say!)

We also want to celebrate employers who are already doing this, so if you are (or your employer is) we’d love them to post about it on social media using the hashtag #PublishParentalLeave

Big thanks,

Daffodil2018 Tue 26-Feb-19 14:41:00

The government is already consulting on this:

eggsandham Tue 26-Feb-19 15:31:26

This is a great idea, well done Mumsnet. I know so many people who've been scared to ask this question at interview and have just had to accept jobs - only to find out later that the pay and leave policies were not great. I hope it happens.

TalkinPeece Tue 26-Feb-19 16:34:48

sadly small employers are some of the worst offenders
a check of the employment tribunal case load shows that

oilLovesChuck Tue 26-Feb-19 16:36:00

Poster believed to be a returning previously banned user. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Tanith Tue 26-Feb-19 18:14:10

Quite frankly, I don't see why they shouldn't publish all their employee-related policies.

Most childcare settings and schools will show parents their policies prior to the parents signing the contract or the child joining the school: it forms part of the contract between the two parties.
Employment contracts should be as open and transparent so that both parties know what is expected of them.

ShatnersWig Wed 27-Feb-19 07:46:46

I only agree with this IF at the same time, companies also publish what policies they have in place for non-parents to ensure they don't just pick up the slack and work extra to cover for those on maternity and paternity leave (which is what happens most often) for no or little recompense, often leading to increased pressure of workload and stress, coupled with often not being "allowed" to take holiday before parents have had their first pick at Christmas and school holidays.

I'm all for parental protection but the pendulum is swinging too far without non-parents being given any protection.

M3lon Wed 27-Feb-19 15:50:00

shatners I'm not sure I agree about the could make the same arguments about sick leave...why should sick people get all the benefit while the healthy have to pick up the slack?

(and just to head off at the pass the 'having children is a choice and sickness isn't' argument, many births are not planned and many days of sick leave are due to entirely optional activities people choose to engage in. We've lost more days to hobby related injuries in our department than due to planned children over the last 5 years)

I think keeping people employed while they weather life's trials is a mark of a good and successful employer. pay by the hour contracts don't tend to produce employee buy in, loyalty or high productivity.

So I'd be in favour of all terms and conditions being made available before interview, as a minimum...but publicly available would also work.

ShatnersWig Wed 27-Feb-19 17:19:36

@M3lon In my experience, most people are only off a few days here and there in terms of "calling in sick". I've only encountered long-term sickness once in my 25 years of working in assorted (usually large) companies and they got a temp in. However, in almost every case of maternity leave I've come across in my working career, there was no temp hired for the period of maternity, someone else was just expected to pick up the slack and I know many other people who will say the same (and it's usually non-parents who get lumbered).

I'm not saying some workplaces don't do it properly, but my experience goes against that.

HelenaDove Wed 27-Feb-19 18:44:28

they also need to publish details on carers leave. For those who care for elderly parents or a disabled spouse while working.

M3lon Wed 27-Feb-19 22:06:43

shatners we have both behaviours here...people in certain categories will get covered for either parental leave or long term sick leave...people in other roles don't get covered in either case and everyone else has to pick up the slack.

I think its probably more important what happens in terms of cover, than the financial terms of the parental leave...because its tough coming back to work when everyone resents you!

RainbowMum11 Thu 28-Feb-19 02:35:45

I haven't read all the messages,,but surely you would assume the stat minimum in terms of leave etc, if mire is important, then ask at interview - for men & women.

most employers who are actively trying to engage professional, qualified staff now will offer flexible working as given, although how that actually pans out isn't clear until after employment has started

StevieHuckle Thu 28-Feb-19 07:09:52

I don't believe any company should have to publish these if they don't want to, its nobody else's business. It is the big businesses and corporations that are keeping this country a float and can do without having to deal with none issues. Its our responsibility to care for ourselves and our families, not theirs. We live in a free market society and economy and I think it should stay that way.

From what Ive seen I completely agree with those who believe the gender pay gap is a complete myth. Much of it is perpetuated by the media and is due to the natural process and the fact that women give birth. They take time during pregnancy and often leave jobs and drop out of careers by choice to care for their children. Higher risk often ties in with higher wages too and more men go for jobs with higher risk.

I think its a bad idea to keep putting pressure on government to force larger companies to do anything and instead concentrating on what we can do as women and as people aside from always blaming others for an inequality that as a woman i cant see, so don't see how anyone else is going to take seriously.

I know ill probably get banned for saying this but I think women should be proud and be able to stand on their own merits and less complaining how badly we're treat.

cucumbergin Fri 01-Mar-19 09:38:07

I think this is a great idea. Large companies publishing parental leave arrangements will normalise it for smaller firms. Those who have less attractive offerings will realise that it makes a difference when trying to attract/hang onto skilled employees.

MotherOfDragonite Sat 02-Mar-19 21:53:41

Of course women want to know! It's not like you can really ask about maternity pay at interview or offer stage without seriously jeopardising your chances in a new job, but it's a huge consideration when it comes to planning a family.

But let's be honest -- large companies don't genuinely want to employ women. If they did they would compete with each other to offer generous maternity packages, and offer flexible working and part-time contracts as standard options.

They don't want us. They don't give a shit.

londonliv Sun 03-Mar-19 13:34:55

I'd like to also point out that some employers parental leave seem to be dependent on what the mother/primary carer receives. My DH won't get an enhanced package for his parental leave as I receive one despite us not working for the same company. I think this is discriminatory & sets a dangerous precedent.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »