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The government is consulting on plans to ask employers to Publish Parental Leave - please add your voice

(25 Posts)
RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 22-Jul-19 11:31:53


Hopefully lots of you will be aware that we at MNHQ have been campaigning for employers to be upfront about their policies around maternity, paternity and other forms of parental leave and pay. 82% of MNers in our survey told us that they'd be reluctant to ask about maternity policies or other parental leave policies in an interview for fear it would make a job offer less likely - a pretty rational fear given levels of maternity and pregnancy discrimination.

We're delighted that the government has now announced it's expanding its consultation on this issue. You can read more details about the whole consultation here and submit your response to the publish parental leave proposals in particular here.

Also included in the consultation document are:

proposals for encouraging employers to advertise jobs as flexible by default;
proposals for encouraging more fathers to make use of shared parental leave and paternity leave - including upping the levels of statutory paternity pay and increasing the amount of statutory paternity leave;
some questions about how statutory maternity leave and pay might be affected by changes to shared parental leave or statutory paternity leave and pay;
questions about whether the entire systems of maternity, paternity and parental leave should be overhauled and replaced with one cohesive set of 'family leave' policies - and what the implications of this might be; and
proposals for a new entitlement to Neonatal Leave and Pay for parents whose babies are in special neonatal care.

Given this set of policy issues, we're sure you'll have thoughts - MNHQ will be submitting a response to the consultation so do let us know your views, as ever.

And if you agree with us about the importance of employers publishing their parental leave policies, it would be great if you could submit an individual response to that part of the consultation and share away with friends and family to ask them to do the same.


M3lon Mon 22-Jul-19 14:23:33

Excellent work! This is a no brainer!

NoIDontWatchLoveIsland Mon 22-Jul-19 21:32:09

Publication of policies would be a huge step forward in terms of pay equality. At the moment access information like this is limited to who has the better "network" of friends & industry peers willing to share details etc. It's a huge part of assessing the salary and benefits of an organisation and completely unfair on employees to have no visibility of it.

Paternity leave is a joke, if it was truly equal the statutory provision for men would be the same as for women. However I hope this wouldn't take the form of reducing what women can take. The companies I know with the most women in senior roles are the most generous with maternity leave and this is no coincidence - it's better for everyone.

Neonatal leave would be wonderful. As a parent who has had to stop work earlier than planned with pregnancy complications and expecting a premie, I'm faced with probably having to decide to resign from my job of 9 years because I don't think I or my baby will be ready for me to return to work having spent half the leave in hospital.

Taswama Mon 22-Jul-19 22:05:33

I’m a big fan of men having a big chunk of use it or lose it leave like they do in Scandinavia I believe. This has been shown to increase the uptake and mean men are more involved fathers.

timemanagement Wed 24-Jul-19 22:27:55

Yes to companies being forced to publish their parental leave policies. Anything to remove the ambiguity we have currently. It would move the goalposts when hiring too...

HappyLoneParentDay Thu 25-Jul-19 15:57:02

I'm all for this. For what it's worth. I'm disabled and unfit for work for the foreseeable. I also probably won't be having anymore kids so it won't apply to me but I still feel strongly in favour of this.

Another huge step towards that ultimate goal of equality. 👍🏻

bubblegumunicorn Sun 28-Jul-19 10:46:48

Yes I still don't know what my works maternity policy is and I'm on maternity leave...(started after I was pregnant) and I was horrified to find out my DH was only entitled to statutory paternity pay at his old job!

SunniDay Sun 28-Jul-19 16:01:10

I looked at the .gov pages on parental leave to see if it would be useful for something.

The fact that the employer can delay the leave by up to six months if the timing is inconvenient makes it very difficult to use in practice for anything important such as supporting a child through an illness or operation/divorce/bullying/ coping with childcare issues .

While this policy might be ok for a holiday/travelling it's of very little use for any of these important events unless the employer honours the timing requested. If the employee was ill and needed time off the employer would just have to deal with it - if the employees child is ill it should be the same. Perhaps the employer should have to honour the request if it is for certain reasons?

sootspritez Sun 28-Jul-19 19:13:46

100% in support of this!!!

xtinak Sun 28-Jul-19 22:44:50

This should be accompanied by better, clearer regulation around what employers have to do for mothers expressing milk at work. Lactating is the only thing I can do that my partner can't.. If I can easily express at work for sure then that evens the playing field in terms of who takes leave. Protection for lactating mothers is inadequate right now.

seesensepeople Mon 29-Jul-19 16:42:25

Something like this that I saw on Linked In:

The truth is, HR policies and systems that provide better provision for parental leave for women over parents of other genders risk perpetuating the view that women are the primary carers.

So, we’re changing our parental leave policy so that all colleagues – regardless of gender, sexual orientiation or how they became a parent – will be eligible to take up to 12 months off following the arrival of their child from next year. This means that male, non-binary and transgender colleagues will be able to take exactly the same amount of time off as female colleagues, with the same entitlement to 25 weeks at full basic pay.

It’s a big step, but something which we feel is fundamental to creating a level playing field where career progression is entirely about talent and not gender.

Angeliza Thu 01-Aug-19 12:21:45

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Tobebythesea Sun 04-Aug-19 09:45:21

I’m all for this. The variation in leave between companies is incredible. My husband gets 6 months full pay. I get the legal minimum. Neonatal leave would be amazing too.

BizzzzyBee Sun 04-Aug-19 19:06:30

It’s completely pointless having the leave if men can’t afford to take it. Statutory pay is £145 a week! For my DH that’s nearly £1000 a week less than his normal pay. We couldn’t afford for him to take even one week paternity leave or we wouldn’t be able to pay the mortgage.

chocolateworshipper Sun 04-Aug-19 21:43:37

I'm all for it. My employer has a policy in place, but then completely ignores it when you actually ask for something!

Lolyora17 Mon 05-Aug-19 02:49:46

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

ShatnersWig Tue 06-Aug-19 08:38:18

I'd like to see policies from these companies as to how they will provide adequate cover during staff maternity and paternity periods. In my experience, other staff are just expected to work harder and cover the roles for no additional recompense or reward (usually those without children, who are also the ones who get the thin end of the wedge with holiday dates or who are expected to work Christmas because "you don't have kids"). Most firms don't get temps in for maternity or paternity cover. I see lots of evidence that parents are getting better support at work - which I'm not saying is wrong - but at the expense of other staff members. Parents will get all the time they need for children's issues but a childfree member of staff who might be looking after an aged parent? Nah, fuck them.

I think there needs to be a much greater understanding of flexible needs for ALL staff during different periods of life. There is a danger of the pendulum swinging too far the other way and I've seen it first hand, especially in larger corporates.

Dboi19 Tue 06-Aug-19 12:34:27


HockeyMum73 Tue 06-Aug-19 20:13:07

ShatnersWig makes a really important point. Its not just important knowing the policy, but feeling like your role is going to be properly covered while you are away. Its horrible being away and knowing extra stress is being put on your colleagues. I know people who have returned early out of guilt - which is simply wrong.

ShatnersWig Wed 07-Aug-19 07:48:15

Thanks Hockey. There is a big difference between firms saying "our maternity and paternity policies are this" and "this is how we implement those policies so that it doesn't impact on other staff unfairly". The latter bit is rarely thought about. It's fine to have all these right aimed at parents and protecting those rights, but there needs to be more parity across ALL workers, not just the proportion that chooses to have kids, especially as increasing number of people choose not to have them.

NoProblem123 Thu 08-Aug-19 09:53:50

Companies should not be allowed to widely advertise what great flexi working arrangements they can offer on their job adverts to secure the best talent, only to state that it’s down to the Line Manager & ‘needs of the business’ once you’re in post.
Insecure Managers from the last century have a special talent for finding their business needs don’t allow for any kind of family life.

RighteousSista Sun 11-Aug-19 21:51:33

. @seesensepeople would be interested to know what company you work for!

seesensepeople Mon 12-Aug-19 12:35:30

@RighteousSista - I didn't say I worked there, I saw it on LinkedIn and thought it was fascinating. I don't know how to search articles on there to find it again, sadly.

EvilEdna1 Tue 13-Aug-19 11:43:34

The NCT doesn't have an ideaology of promoting 'natural' childbirth. Doesn't even use that word. See if you can go on their website and find examples of them promoting an ideaology of natural birth and rejecting medical assistance. They promote informed decision making and evidence based information.

As well as the high standard of training the NCT seek feedback from every client so if there are concerns they can follow up. Practitioners are also assessed every 3 years. If there are complaints they take them very seriously and investigate. So I would reiterate that if practitioners have behaved in bonkers ways as some claim then this thread pleas do complain.

If an independent hypnobirthing practitioner or antenatal class facilitator has behaved in a such a way you probably have no one to complain to.

EvilEdna1 Tue 13-Aug-19 11:44:22

Agggh wrong thread!

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