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New research from Vodafone reveals the cost to businesses of having poor parental leave

Employers who do not offer sufficient parental leave risk losing top talent. Vodafone urges Government and employers to review parental leave policies and ensure they meet the expectations of younger workers.

Key findings:

  • 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.  
  • More than one-in-10 people (12%), and one-in-four 18–34-year-olds (25%), have decided not to apply for a job because they thought the employer’s parental leave policies were inadequate.
  • More than half (52%) of people, including two-thirds (64%) of those aged 18-34, agree that parental leave policies are a useful indication of whether an organisation is a good employer, even if they are not planning to have a baby themselves. 
  • Around one-in-10 people (9%) have turned down a job offer because they thought the employer’s parental leave policies were inadequate. This doubles to more than one-in-five (21%) 18–34 year-olds.

These findings clearly demonstrate the value of employers offering enhanced parental leave policies, and the positive impact this could have on attracting and retaining young talent and creating a better working environment for all employees. 

The report makes recommendations for both the Government and employers on how to provide greater support for new parents and caregivers in the workplace. This includes advice on flexible working practices where possible, reviewing the effectiveness of shared parental leave, considering whether the statutory right to take up to two weeks of paternity leave is still fit for purpose and providing the digital tools for employers to support flexible working.

Vodafone’s Global Parental Leave Policy offers 16 weeks of fully paid leave to all non-birthing parents, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or length of service, allowing for more equitable caring responsibilities and minimising the impact on the careers of new parents.

The findings are part of a study – ‘Lost Connections: Supporting parents and caregivers in the workplace’ – commissioned by Vodafone, which argues that employers should be transparent about the benefits they offer to new and expectant parents and caregivers to ensure they attract and retain the top talent. Find out more.


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