The Campaign have published an article summarising the parental leave policies of the biggest agencies.
The timing of this publication is particularly interesting. As part of their Good Work Plan, the government is currently consulting on family friendly working practices and a proposal to create greater transparency of flexible working practices and family related leave. In particular, the government are considering whether there should be a requirement for large employers (those with 250 or more employees) to publish their family related leave and pay policies, as well as their flexible working policies.
The purpose of this proposal is to give employees more choice and flexibility to balance their commitments both in and out of work. As the Campaign highlights, many agencies go beyond the statutory minimum when it comes to family related leave and pay. However job applicants (and sometimes even existing employees) are often unaware of this. The hope is that a publishing requirement will encourage all employers to reassess their policies in comparison to their competitors and highlight at the outset when enhanced parental leave rights or pay are offered. It will be interesting to see if this recent article by the Campaign has this intended effect on agencies before any proposals are implemented by the government.
The government’s consultation is due to close on 11 October 2019.
What was encouraging is that all agencies offer some form of enhanced benefits. Agencies appeared to be clustered around two areas – several offer enhanced maternity packages of around three months at full pay, while another group of agencies offer six months at full pay or some level above statutory. Some offer return-to-work bonuses.