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Empowering new parents with enhanced parental leave

More workers expressed a preference for enhanced parental leave in March 2024 than in any other month over the last year. Here is why...

17th Apr 2024

What is enhanced parental leave?

Enhanced parental leave, often referred to as enhanced maternity and paternity leave, goes beyond the standard leave entitlements mandated by law. It gives new parents additional time off work to bond with their newborn or newly adopted child and support their family during this significant life transition. Unlike statutory parental leave policies, which may offer limited time off or minimal benefits, enhanced parental leave typically includes extended paid leave periods, flexible return-to-work options, and additional benefits such as childcare support or financial assistance.

Why do companies offer enhanced parental leave?

Being a new parent is exhausting; from giving birth to the lack of sleep and adjusting to a new home environment. As an employer, increasing your gesture of goodwill makes it more likely for an employee to return to work after their period of leave, whilst feeling a little more refreshed. 

Not only does it help to improve employee retention and reduce the associated recruitment costs, but it also makes employers more attractive to new candidates. Employers confirm the benefits of offering enhanced parental leave outweigh those additional costs.

  1. Retention and loyalty: Enhanced parental leave policies contribute to higher employee retention rates and create loyalty among employees. When companies provide ample time off for new parents, it shows that they value their employees' well-being and support their life outside of work. This can lead to increased job satisfaction and a stronger commitment to the company.
  2. Attracting top talent: Competitive parental leave policies help companies attract top talent, especially in industries where work-life balance and family support are important considerations for job seekers. Potential candidates are more likely to be drawn to companies that offer generous parental leave benefits, seeing it as a reflection of the company's values and culture.
  3. Promoting diversity and inclusion: Enhanced parental leave policies contribute to a more inclusive workplace by accommodating the needs of employees at different stages of their lives. By offering equal parental leave opportunities to all employees, regardless of gender or family structure, companies can promote gender equality, support working parents, and create a more diverse workforce.

Flexible companies offering enhanced parental leave

In February, we revealed our annual Flexa100 list, where we recognise and award the most flexible companies to work for in 2024. One of the most common benefits offered among these companies was enhanced parental and maternity leave with 83% of our top 100 Flexified companies offering this.

Enhanced maternity and paternity leave refers to policies offered by employers that go beyond the statutory minimum requirements for parental leave. These enhanced policies typically provide employees with additional time off, increased pay during leave, or other benefits that support new parents during the transition to parenthood. By empowering employees to take more time off work to bond with their new child, employers can help parents to achieve a better relationship between their work and family responsibilities.

SilverRail Technologies, on enhanced maternity and paternity leave 

At SilverRail, we prioritise the well-being and needs of our employees at every stage of their journey to parenthood. From fertility challenges to pregnancy, adoption, and beyond, our advanced parental leave policies are designed to provide comprehensive support and flexibility. We understand the emotional and physical toll of fertility treatments and offer knowledge sessions and fertility testing through Hertility as well as dedicated flexibility around further fertility appointments, empowering employees to prioritise their family-building efforts without sacrificing their careers. Throughout pregnancy, expectant parents receive support, flexible work arrangements, and accommodations tailored to their needs. Additionally, our policies extend to provide compassionate support for pregnancy loss, generous adoption leave to facilitate bonding, and the promotion of shared parental leave to foster gender equality and work-life balance. Through these initiatives, we strive to create an inclusive workplace where all employees feel supported, valued, and empowered to navigate the joys and challenges of parenthood.

“To a company considering rolling out advanced parental leave policies but hesitating, I would emphasise the importance of supporting employees both professionally and personally. By offering comprehensive parental leave benefits, the company demonstrates a commitment to its employees' well-being beyond the office walls. This sends a powerful message that employees are valued as whole individuals, not just for their contributions to the company.”

Victoria Bacon, Senior Global Talent & Culture Manager @ SilverRail

Mars, on their parental leave policy 

At Mars UK we believe that both parents are equally important to their child and to us as an employer. We are proud of our industry-leading Equal Parental Leave policy and the support it provides our Associates with family structures of all kinds. Our policy means any Associate who has more than 12 months' continuous service with Mars UK is eligible to 52 weeks parental leave, with 26 weeks paid at 90% when they become a parent.

There are also so many other incredible flexible companies offering enhanced maternity and paternity leave. Here are some of them you can check out.

10 companies offering enhanced maternity and paternity leave in 2024

  1. PerlegoPerlego's ambition is to become the world’s online learning library, a single place where learners can instantly access all of the world’s academic content for less than the price of a single book.
  2. Motorway: Motorway are on a mission to move the car industry online – and in doing so, they’re making buying and selling cars a more efficient and 10x better experience. 
  3. Moneysupermarket Group: MoneySuperMarket is the UK’s leading price comparison website - providing free, online tools to help people manage, save and grow their money, by enabling them to compare and switch Insurance, Money and Home products.
  4. Microsoft: Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the plant to achieve more. 
  5. Trust Keith: Trust Keith helps founders and operators (not risk teams at BigCo's), save the time, energy, and ambiguity of managing data protection themselves. 
  6. Attest: Attest is the consumer research platform that puts trustworthy insights in more people's hands.
  7. Storyblok: Storyblok are on a mission to deliver the best Content Management System that validates and prioritises content management innovations, enables teams to deliver their content in a fast and reliable way while building the remote company.
  8. Centrica: Centrica are more than just an energy company.We’re a family of brands, on a mission to revolutionise how we power the planet.
  9. Impression: A digital marketing agency that drives ambitious growth for exciting and ambitious brands across the globe.
  10. LettUs Grow: A company with a a mission to reduce the waste and carbon footprint of fresh produce by empowering anyone, anywhere, to grow delicious food near its point of consumption.‏‏‎ ‎
We know company benefits are important and often searching for a new job can be frustrating when you are unaware of a company’s culture and values upfront. For utter transparency, company benefits are clearly listed on company pages and job descriptions on Flexa, so you can see what a company offers before you even apply.