Insurers take lead in stating clearer parental rights
A number of firms are taking action on parental leave
Some of the UK’s biggest insurance and long-term savings companies have signed up to an initiative aimed at making parental leave and pay policies more consistent and easy to understand.
The initiative, led by the Association of British Insurers, comes as the government is consulting on proposals to balance the gender division on parental leave.
This first wave of signatories announced today are listed below. They will all ensure that details of their parental leave pay policy are clearly explained and highlighted on their public websites.
Until now, there has been no uniform approach, with some firms setting out their policy as part of their careers information, while others only providing details of it for existing employees.
Yvonne Braun, ABI diversity spokesman, said: “Parental pay can often be shrouded in secrecy and as an industry, we want to change this. It’s easy to find out about benefits such as pensions contributions upfront, but pay for maternity, paternity and adoption leave is not usually public, and jobhunters are very reluctant to ask.
“I’m proud to see insurers and long-term savings providers step up to make this simple but important change in their approach. We believe we are the first industry to do so, underlining our ambition to be inclusive to all and an attractive sector to work in.”
In a survey by Mumsnet, 83% of respondents said they were reluctant to ask potential employers about parental leave policies because they feared it would make a job offer less likely.
Yet 84% say parental leave and pay policies are critical when applying for or considering applying for a job.
Justine Roberts, founder of Mumsnet, added: “It’s brilliant that ABI members are embracing this challenge. We’re running the Publish Parental Leave campaign because we know that prospective parents really value this information, and are understandably reluctant to ask about it at interview, so this sort of transparency is key.”
In addition to making parental leave and pay transparent, many ABI members are further supporting employees by equalising the pay offered for maternity and shared parental leave, supporting people returning from parental leave with a phased part-time return at full pay, and offering paid time off or flexible working arrangements to support those undergoing fertility treatment.
The ABI expects more of its members will sign up to this transparency initiative in the coming months.
The ABI member and platforms members agreeing to be part of the first wave of this initiative are:
Direct Line Group
Police Mutual Group
Royal London Group
Sabre Insurance Group
Sun Life Financial of Canada
Zurich Insurance UK