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Paternity policies: a hidden form of discrimination

More than 80 percent of parents have not asked potential employers about parental leave policies in fear it would make a job offer “less likely”.

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40 percent avoided asking about parental leave policies after being employed
40 percent avoided asking about parental leave policies after being employed

A Mumsnet survey, of 1,000 parents and prospective parents, has revealed how how keeping these policies hidden has an enormous impact on those returning to work or looking to switch jobs.

 

The website for parents in the UK is calling on large employers to publish their parental leave policies for all to see.

 

The survey found:

  • 57 percent of parents have avoided asking about parental leave policies after a job offer;
  • 40 percent avoided asking about parental leave policies after being employed;
  • 84 percent said employers’ parental leave policies are important to them when applying for or considering applying for a job;
  • 66 percent said that, at least once, they have found it difficult or impossible to find information about parental leave policies when considering a position;
  • 50 percent agree employers make it difficult for jobseekers to find out about parental leave policies;
  • 37 percent said that not being able to find out about parental leave policies has made it more difficult for them to find suitable work.

Reward Strategy wants to know if you have experienced any of the above. Have your say here.

 

Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts said: “This is a hidden form of discrimination that’s gone on for way too long.

 

“Women thinking about starting or adding to their families are finding it impossible to make informed judgements about job offers, and dads who want to play their full part are increasingly finding themselves in the same position. They’re in a double-bind, because even asking the question can mean they go no further in an application process.

 

“Requiring large companies to publish their policies is a small, cost-free change that puts power back in the hands of jobseekers. As with gender pay gap reporting, this sort of public accountability celebrates employers with inclusive policies, powerfully incentivises others to be better - and allows parents to decide which job ads just aren’t worth their time.’

 

Jo Swinson, Liberal Democrat deputy leader, has called on the government to require employers of 250-plus people to publish their parental pay and leave policies.

 

She said: “If we are serious about tackling discrimination against new parents and pregnant women, this is one small but important change that is needed.”

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