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Most top UK employers won’t disclose parental leave and pay

Geraldine Gallacher, CEO, ECC
woman holding child while sitting down

The majority of top employers are still leaving candidates in the dark about pay and benefits for working parents, handicapping their ability to attract and retain the employees who want to balance work and family, according to new research conducted by ECC, a firm which helps employers improve gender diversity.

The findings published today in a report called “The 2020 Parental Fog Index”, come from the second yearly benchmark by ECC of the transparency of parental benefits for the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers, as published on their websites.

The research showed that while there was a small increase in the number of organisations that publish detailed policy details, including pay and duration of parental leave and flexible working arrangements, from 18% in 2019 to 24% in 2020, the total number that publish generic (32%) or no details (44%) of parental benefits decreased slightly to 76% in 2020 from 82% in 2019.

The study, which placed employers into five categories of visibility, rated 9% of employers in its top ‘beacon’ group up from 4% last year. In addition to publishing full details of parental policies, these employers actively market their support to working parents as core to their employer brand.

Of the employers ranked “Visible” (32%), “Foggy” (18%), and “Invisible” (26%), all would rise to “Fully Visible” – the minimum measure for transparency around arrangements for working parents –  with one simple change to their websites: the addition of parental policies, including terms of pay and duration.

While a total of 21 companies improved their ranking year-on-year, 12 organisations fell in their ranking showing that while transparency for parental benefits is improving, progress is slow.

Commenting on the research Geraldine Gallacher, CEO of ECC said:“Even before the Coronavirus pandemic hit, leading employers understood that a key battle ground in attracting the best talent was the perceived family-friendliness of their organisation.

By choosing to be completely transparent about parental pay and benefits at the start of the recruitment journey, the ‘Beacon’ organisations identified in our report are clearly demonstrating that they are a place where people can progress their careers after starting a family.

With working and childcare arrangements in flux for the foreseeable future, the quality and detail of information on parental benefits will be an increasingly critical tool in attracting and retaining the right talent to thrive and compete.

For those who are less transparent, the report provides a call to action to improve the visibility of basic information around pay and benefits or to risk missing out on talent as candidates may shy away from a recruitment process where questions about parental benefits might call into question commitment to their career.”


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