Recruiting and retaining staff in a competitive employment market can be a challenge. Now more than ever, businesses may be asking themselves what they can do to distinguish themselves from their competitors.
Could establishing and supporting family leave policies be the key to a stronger, dedicated workforce?
Shared Parental Leave
Initially introduced in the UK in 2015, Shared Parental Leave permits parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave after having a baby, following the minimum of two weeks for maternity and paternity leave.
As well as Shared Parental Leave, there is also Statutory Shared Parental Pay. Both schemes are open to couples who are having a baby, using a surrogate, or adopting a child.
Parents can share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay between them.
Parental schemes and gender equality
Improving and growing workplace culture by creating options for working parents brings a range of benefits. The chance for paid leave can be largely advantageous for those needing to handle responsibilities at home, something that employers should take into consideration.
However, one of the fundamental problems continues to be how fathers are treated differently in paternity leave laws.
Tackling gender inequality can be achieved by offering support to all new parents, where duties are shared equally with fathers.
Last month, Saga announced its plans to offer grandparents a week of paid leave following the birth of their grandchildren.
According to research by Age UK, two out of five grandparents over 50 frequently provide childcare for their grandchildren, meaning that it is a great incentive for employers to think about, even though this type of leave is not protected by law.
Supporting older employees highlights their importance both in the workplace and society, working to change mindsets and break down barriers.
What can employers do?
Keeping your employees’ wellbeing in mind is essential when thinking about the policies that you have in place. Especially in our current climate, benefits are invaluable for hiring new workers and retaining team members.
Adequate paternity and shared parental leave options should be offered to all who are eligible, relieving stress and providing financial security to new families who will already be carrying a lot on their shoulders.
Furthermore, it’s important for employers to provide flexible leave options by communicating and working with their employees to evaluate how leave is utilised, before reviewing the impact this has on productivity and business in general.
For help and advice with related matters, please get in touch with our employment team today.
Mander Hadley Solicitors is not only a long established firm, but is vibrant and successful, with a forward thinking approach.
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