A joint benchmark study by My Family Care and Workingmums.co.uk collated and compared the maternity, paternity and Shared Parental Leave benefits of 200 companies and organisations in the UK.
Completed by HRDs from a whole spectrum of industries, ranging from legal to banking and finance, higher education and retail, the study has revealed that while most of those surveyed (80%) enhance maternity pay, 45% plan to offer enhanced parental leave.
Similarly, the majority say they are not going to change their maternity or paternity pay rules with the launch of SPL - with 44% of companies coming to this decision based on the knowledge of their staff, without asking for their employees' thoughts or feedback.
Educating managers is a key challenge for employers
One of the main challenges that companies say they face with the introduction of SPL this month is educating managers and keeping them engaged in supporting their working parents. This was closely followed by the issue of communicating the complexity of the legislation to employees.
Higher Education and the Public sector
In an analysis of the different sectors, higher education and the public sector are found to be the 'most generous'. The more traditionally male orientated sectors, especially industrial and manufacturing enhance maternity leave to a lesser extent while service based industries such as legal and banking, which have also been historically seen as less than female friendly, enhance their maternity leave to retain the female talent they've invested heavily in.
There was a direct correlation between those enhancing SPL with those already committed to maternity and paternity benefit enhancement, namely higher education, public sector, banking and finance, legal, charity and technology and telecoms.