According to new analysis by Mumsnet, companies in the FTSE 250 are more likely to publicise the availability of fresh fruit, free eye tests and in-house massage therapy than they are to publish details of their parental leave policies. Only 15 companies – 5% of the entire FTSE 250 – told job hunters how much paid leave they can expect, and at what levels of pay, if they have a baby.
Bakery giant Greggs publishes details of staff discounts on its delicious savouries, and Pets At Home has a frankly magnificent ‘peternity’ leave policy for those who’ve recently acquired non-human companions, but neither publishes its parental leave policies. One company publishes details of 19 separate benefits policies – but doesn’t include maternity, paternity or adoption leave.
Mumsnet is calling for large employers to publish their parental leave policies for all to see, after a survey of over 1000 parents and prospective parents revealed that keeping these policies hidden has an enormous impact on those returning to work or looking to switch jobs. More than eight out of ten (82%) of those surveyed said they were reluctant to ask potential employers about parental leave policies because they feared it ‘would make a job offer less likely’, and 66% said that at least once, they had found it difficult or impossible to find information about parental leave policies when considering a position.
After analysis showed that just 23 of the FTSE 100 published their policies, Mumsnet wrote to the others asking them to consider publishing. Four companies – Hiscox, Sainsbury’s, Landsec and Standard Life – have published their policies as a result. 12 household names, including ITV, Just Eat and Paddy Power, have committed to publishing their policies in the near future, and a further eight have said they will actively review taking this step. The Association of British Insurers has also recently announced that many of its members have committed to publishing their policies for all to see.
The FTSE 250 analysis revealed less encouraging results: just 15 of the 250 companies published their policies, and only two (Rathbones and Unite Students) have let us know that they have published their policies since we contacted them. So far, 16 companies (including Capita and TalkTalk) have said that they intend to publish in the near future, and 13 (including Serco) are actively reviewing their policies.
Mumsnet Founder Justine Roberts said:
We’re pleased that so many FTSE 100 companies are committed to doing the right thing; our hope is that this sort of transparency will help close the gender pay gap and encourage a race to the top in terms of parental policies. For companies with over 250 employees, publishing policies may soon become a statutory requirement, so why not get ahead of the game?