Written by
Changeboard Team

Published
24 Aug 2016

Winning globally with parental leave

24 Aug 2016 • by Changeboard Team

Employers are choosing to implement global parental leave policies that expand beyond traditional maternity leave, Mercer’s new Global Parental Leave report shows. 

More than one-third of organisations worldwide have a single centralised global policy that covers a range of types of leaves available, including maternity, paternity, adoption, and parental.

Having dedicated leave programmes that support employees in their personal lives is vital for the positive and responsible development of a workforce. 

Ilya Bonic, senior partner and president of Mercer’s talent business said: “Parental leave policies can have a positive effect on both employees and employers – they help the workforce maintain a better work-life balance, especially the younger generation, and they promote the company as a more attractive place to work, improving retention during a time of continued demand for highly-skilled talent.”

However, our definition of families continues to evolve causing organisations to make leave policies more inclusive, also supporting fathers and other caregivers: with 24% of companies providing leave to the primary caregiver irrespective of gender. 

Bonic continues: “With evolving gender roles and defining families to include same-sex parents, many organisations are modifying their parental leave programmes to accommodate their changing workforce.” 

It is in the interests for employers to consider a global parental leave policy due the overall positive impact such leave programmes have.

Bonic further says: “Some compelling reasons, like no longer adhering to requirements that are not compatible with diversity and equity strategies and creating a level playing field for employees in all countries, have prompted companies to consider a global policy. Additionally, some employers are even expanding their policies beyond mandates since leave is becoming a valuable tool for finding and keeping the best talent and promoting equality.”

The Mercer report on the whole shows how the current changing landscape of parental leave policies is progressive, supporting our changing understanding of families and gender roles, and has a positive impact not just on the well being of the employee, but on the health of the company as a whole. 

Further links relating to parental leave:

Sexual equality and the question of parental leave

Parental leave: what do employers worry about?