Half of UK parents not happy with paternity packages offered by employers
A new ‘Paternity League’ Table released today (4 October 2022) by childcare service Koru Kids, shines a spotlight on the most and least generous paternity leave packages that the UK companies on Glassdoor’s ‘Top 50 Best Places To Work 2022’ [Note 1] offer.
The table highlights how workplaces need to step up their game and help level the playing field when it comes to giving fathers access to paternity, parental leave and family-friendly workplace policies.
Research commissioned by Koru Kids [Note 2] to accompany the publication of the league table, found that almost half (46%) of parents with young children were dissatisfied with their/their partner’s paternity leave package. The top reasons included not being given enough time off (73%), being displeased with their pay (59%) and a lack of flexibility upon returning to work (28%).
Three quarters (76%) of fathers and non-birthing parents were offered just two weeks’ leave by their employer – the current minimum statutory requirement in the UK – which is scant when compared to the 52 week entitlement rightly given for maternity leave.
Over half of parents said that inadequate paternity leave negatively impacted their mental health (56%), while a quarter (24%) say their physical health suffered as a result. A third of dads/non-birthing partners (34%) also said that their relationship suffered, whilst a further third (32%) said they were left feeling financially unstable.
Almost three-quarters (73%) of mothers surveyed say they felt abandoned during such a vulnerable time, whilst more than two-thirds (67%) had to take on the majority of household chores and childcare duties alone.
Overall, 80% of parents said they believe the unequal maternity/paternity leave policies in the UK reinforce traditional gender stereotypes, where the mother adopts a homemaking role while the father returns to work.
Perhaps most concerning of all, three in five (62%) mums surveyed said they felt their partner struggled to create a bond with their new baby due to a lack of time off, and over half (52%) of parents said their child didn’t receive enough attention during those crucial first months.
The Fatherhood Institute has partnered with Koru Kids to help interpret the findings and promote a wider discussion of the issues raised.
Adrienne Burgess, joint CEO and Head of Research for The Fatherhood Institute, said this about the survey findings:
“We’ve been calling for a father-inclusive parenting leave system for years, but it’s still startling just how little progress has been made to change the status quo in the UK. Together with Koru Kids, we’re campaigning for fathers and non-birthing partners to be given six weeks minimum paid leave in the first year after the birth of a child, and for workplaces to be transparent when it comes to the package they offer.”
Rachel Carrell, founder and CEO of Koru Kids, said: “Gender inequality starts at day 1, thanks to poor paternity leave packages, and our research confirms that paternity leave is severely underfunded and overlooked. With 60% of dads saying good paternity leave would be a factor when finding a new role, every employer should check their paternity package and make sure it truly provides financial stability, flexibility and enough time for new parents to bond with their baby. Our Paternity League table shows some companies have outstanding and inspirational policies, but disappointingly, others that are renowned for being great places to work actually have paternity packages that leave much to be desired, while several in the top 50 declined to share details of their package at all. It’s time we broke down the barriers to accessing parental leave, so that men, women and children can flourish.”
To build a broader picture of the state of paternity leave in the UK, Koru Kids has created a tool that allows people to input their employer’s paternity policy and see how it matches up against the paternity packages of the Glassdoor ‘Top 50 Best Places To Work’. To use this, visit www.korukids.co.uk/blog/paternity-league.
About Koru Kids
Koru Kids is a tech start-up, whose bespoke digital platform helps families flourish by connecting them with vetted and trained childcare. From part-time after-school nannies to fill that afternoon gap, to full-time early-years childminding. Simple and streamlined searching, matching, interviewing, payment and tax, all under one roof. It was set up in 2016 by Rachel Carrell, and borne out of a need to improve the way childcare works in the UK.
Methodology for the paternity league table
Data was collected directly from ranked companies, via their websites, by telephone and via email correspondence with HR teams.
Once the data was collected, Koru Kids put in place a ranking system which aimed to rank both paternity leave and paternity pay from highest to bottom. These two metrics were ranked independently and a third rank was put in place to decide which company was the best based on both paternity leave and paternity pay. Where two or more companies scored the same for the combined ranking, the Glassdoor rank was used as the deciding factor for which company should be placed higher.
In order to come up with a hypothetical paternity leave pay, the average salary of £24,600 (rounded up to £25,000) as per HMRC data was used, which then enabled the companies in the study to be split into 3 distinct categories – Gold, Silver & Bronze.
The calculation of the splits was based on the difference between the upper and lower salary value in our study which then was split into 3 thirds providing us with the following splits:
> £10,839 = Gold
£5421 – £10839 = Silver
£0 – £5420 = Bronze
Note 2: Survey by Censuswide of 1,505 parents of children aged five or under, who have either taken paternity leave or their partner has. The survey took place between 18th and 23rd August, 2022.
Statutory paternity leave is: either 1 week or 2 consecutive weeks’ leave at a rate of either £156.66 a week or 90% of their average weekly earnings (whichever is lower). Tax and National Insurance are also deducted: https://www.gov.uk/employers-paternity-pay-leave