Majority offer enhanced maternity and paternity pay

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Almost two-thirds of organisations offer enhanced maternity pay and almost the same proportion offer paternity pay that is more generous than statutory requirements.

However, only a quarter offer enhanced shared parental pay, according to XpertHR.

Its survey of 375 organisations that collectively employ almost one million staff found that the majority of firms offer maternity pay (63.5%) and paternity pay (60.3%) that is above the legal minimum. However, there was considerable variation in how employers enhance pay for new parents.

The most common maternity pay enhancement, provided by 42.4% of employers, is full pay for more than six weeks followed by the standard statutory maternity pay rate. Of these organisations, three in 10 offer full pay for three months, although two in 10 offers full pay for six months.

Thirty-seven per cent of organisations make enhanced maternity pay dependent on the employee returning to work following maternity leave.

Financial incentives or other benefits such as flexible working to assist with a return to work following maternity leave are offered by 45.9% of employers. This rises to 59.1% among firms with 1,000 or more staff.

However, 31.7% of organisations do not enhance maternity, paternity or shared parental pay at all. Cost is the main reason for this, although some said it was because of the culture within their organisation.

Rachel Sharp, HR practice editor at XpertHR said: “Well over half of organisations offer enhanced maternity pay. Employers that are willing to invest in all of their team, not just in terms of pay but also with family-friendly benefits, will also benefit in the long-term.

“Being able to provide support during this time highlights your commitment to these employees and can be a really strong way to attract and retain top talent and create a culture of inclusiveness across the business.”

This week a report published by single parent charity Gingerbread found that single parents are more likely to have been furloughed and work in sectors most affected by the pandemic than parents in couples.

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