Management consultants Accenture (pictured), Transport for London and investment firm M&G rank within the top 10 workplaces for women and maternity leave, according to research by price comparison organisation Money Guru.
Its analysis saw Accenture, which offers female employees 36 weeks of maternity leave at full pay, top the list. Transport for London (TFL) came second for providing mothers with 26 weeks of fully paid maternity leave, 13 weeks of leave at statutory maternity pay and a further 13 weeks of unpaid leave. This is awarded to all TFL employees regardless of length of service.
Other organisations recognised for their maternity leave policy include insurance organisation Aviva, media business Netflix and technology firm Microsoft.
In terms of paternity leave, financial services firm American Express took first place; it offers male staff 20 weeks of paid parental leave. Other organisations on the list include Lenovo, with a policy for eight weeks of paid paternity leave and ongoing flexible leave for family emergencies, music downloading business Spotify, which provides six months of parental leave, childcare subsidy and emergency support, and social media organisation Twitter that provides 20 weeks of paid parental leave as well as its Twitter Parents scheme, which offers discounts on goods and services.
American Express also came first in the top 10 workplaces for shared parental leave and working families list. Barclays is second for offering 26 weeks of leave at full pay, followed by 13 weeks of leave at statutory pay, while the Crown Prosecution Service ranked third for providing staff with 26 weeks of maternity leave, two weeks of paternity leave, 26 weeks of adoption leave and 52 weeks of shared parental leave.
The top 10 workplaces for women and maternity leave are:
- Transport for London
- Civil Service
The top 10 workplaces for men and paternity leave are:
- American Express
The top 10 workplaces for shared parental leave and working families are:
- American Express
- Barclays Bank
- Crown Prosecution Service
- Independent Living Fund Scotland
- Intellectual Property Office
- Lloyds Banking Group
- Pinsent Masons
- Royal Bank of Scotland
- Southdown Housing
Dr Carole Easton OBE, chief executive officer at The Young Women’s Trust, said: “It’s not just employers [that] need to stop treating women as second-class citizens; society as a whole should support men to take an equal role in childcare. Until that happens, women will continue to face discrimination at work.”
Rachel Hard, registered psychologist, added: “There are a number of reasons why men might not be taking parental leave; these include accessibility and equality of paternity leave opportunities, as well as cultural norms and social expectations.
“In some cases, there are still differences in terminology [among] businesses, or the way that people use language to describe the period of time taken off work after having a new baby, [for example] maternity leave versus parental leave. The title ‘maternity leave’ gives a gendered role or expectation of who can [or] should take leave to care for a new baby. The traditional male and female roles are often still in play despite social sanctions to establish equality.”