Last reviewed 28 January 2022

More than a third (37%) of people and more than half (55%) of 18- to 34-year-olds would be more likely to apply for a job if they knew the employer had good parental leave policies, according to a report produced by Vodaphone.

It also found that 12% of people and 25% of 18- to 34-year-olds, have decided not to apply for a job because they thought the employer’s parental leave policies were inadequate.

According to Vodaphone, 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 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.

This can be found at https://newscentre.vodafone.co.uk/app/uploads/2022/01/Parents-and-Caregivers-Jan-2022.pdf.

It 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.

Vodaphone itself 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, it argues, and minimising the impact on the careers of new parents.

Comment by Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director at Peninsula

The onset of the Covid pandemic has seen a shift in employees’ priorities. Many are focusing on creating an effective work-life balance and expect their employment benefits packages to reflect this.

As such, organisations which fall short of offering flexible working arrangements and enhanced family-related pay and leave entitlements (maternity, paternity, shared parental, etc) risk losing key workers.

Supporting employees to grow their families contributes towards increased motivation and satisfaction, which in turn leads to long-term retention and improved productivity.

Similarly, providing enhanced support to family members other than the birth mother allows the mother to return to work quicker and continue with their career, since the caring responsibilities for the child are shared.