Are firms welcoming parental leave?

Are firms welcoming parental leave?

According to a recent report, many large companies are neglecting their duties regarding parental leave, leaving many employees uncertain about what, if any, rights they have.

Are firms welcoming parental leave

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The study by the Executive Coaching Consultancy (ECC) claims almost half of the Times’ Top 100 Graduate Employers List don’t publish their parental leave policies or pay online. With 12 of these companies being law firms, this shows how many employees are left in the dark regarding parental leave.

The ‘Parental Fog List’

The study was undertaken to establish which firms would be compliant should the Parental Leave and Pay Arrangements Bill be enacted today.

This List would rank companies on the transparency of their parental leave policies, with companies classified based on the visibility of these policies. ‘Beacon’ firms demonstrate rights for working parents “runs through its DNA”, whilst ‘Invisible’ represents companies with no clear support available.

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According to the report, only 18 of the 100 companies analysed would be compliant. Although firms with an ‘invisible’ ranking may have policies in place, if they don’t offer allowances for working parents they could be at risk of discrimination according to top Manchester solicitors.


When analysing the companies, ECC found four law firms in the ‘invisible’ category, with no company achieving ‘beacon’ rating.

The websites of White & Case and Herbert Smith Freehills received a ‘foggy’ classification, meaning there was some information available but not enough to ensure full clarity on working parents’ rights and responsibilities.

The ranking achieved was ‘fully visible’; firms achieving this included Irwin Mitchell and Linklaters, whilst Allen & Overy, CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang, DLA Piper and Slaughter and May received a ‘visible’ rating.

Although a poor Fog List ranking doesn’t necessarily mean no parental leave policies, it could be an indicator that firms need to do more to support the rapidly rising numbers of working parents.

If you’re in any doubt about the support available from your employer, speak to your HR department for more information or contact a Manchester solicitors firm if no provisions are made.

Having a clearly visible parental leave policy on an employer’s website can make life much easier for parents. As the ECC managing director said, “It isn’t realistic to expect applicants to ask for this information at interview stage”, so companies must ensure a transparent policy.

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