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Mumsnet’s Best Practice Guide for Publishing Your Parental Leave Policies

Publishing parental leave is a small, cost-free change for businesses that encourages a race to the top for employers, helps tackle the gender pay gap and allows potential employees to make informed decisions about their future.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Apr 17, 2024

We launched our #PublishParentalLeave campaign in 2019 in response to concerns from Mumsnet users that asking about parental leave policies at interview would jeopardise their chances of employment.  We’re asking the Government to act and make it mandatory for companies with more than 250 employees to publish their parental leave policies - and in the meantime, we’re encouraging employers to publish this information voluntarily.

Why should you publish your parental leave policies?

Publishing your organisation’s parental leave policies is a small, cost-free change that can help attract and retain talent.  In a survey we conducted in 2019, 84% of respondents said employers’ parental leave policies are very or somewhat important for them when applying for or considering applying for a job.  And in 2022, research by Vodafone found that more than a third (37%) of people, and more than half (55%) of 18–34-year-olds, would be more likely to apply for a job if they knew the employer had good parental leave policies.

Parental leave and pay policies aren’t perks, or bonuses; they are absolutely critical pieces of information that allow people to plan their futures.  We think it's baffling that given how important this information is, some companies still fail to share their policies with prospective employees.

Best practice guidance

At a minimum we ask employers to publish information on the number of weeks of leave parents can expect, and at what proportion of their usual salary, along with any qualifying period.  You should do this for maternity leave, paternity leave and adoptive leave.

But please don’t feel limited by this guidance - if you’ve got a great flex work offer, a childcare scheme, or anything else that might benefit new parents, tell prospective employees about that too!

You should make this information easy to find for prospective employees, and publish it in a prominent place on your public-facing website.  Where is most appropriate will depend on the format of your website - but it could be included in a ‘careers’ section, an ‘about us’ section, or, if applicable, published alongside your gender pay gap review information.

You should also signpost your parental leave policies on all live job adverts. This could be by including the necessary information on the job advert itself, or including a link back to the information on your website.