Most HR professionals ignore benefits of parental leave

Only 11% of HR departments actively encourage parents to take the time off set out I the Parental Leave regulations, according to research.

Parents who have completed one year’s continuous service with their current employer are entitled to 13 weeks of unpaid parental leave for each child and 18 weeks for each child entitled to a disability living allowance.

However, the study by Croner HR consultancy found that nearly a quarter of HR practitioners (23%) are not fully aware of the parental leave rules.

A third of HR departments believed that allowing working parents time off could have a detrimental effect on their business.

Richard Smith, HR expert at Croner, said HR should be doing more to proactively make staff aware of and encourage them to take their parental leave entitlement.

“Enabling staff to manage their career and family responsibilities can ultimately encourage them to feel more committed to the company, which can help improve retention,” he said.

“Lower absence is also likely, as parental leave allows employees to take time off needed to cope with family emergencies and commitments. An organisation which actively promotes parental leave is also attractive to potential employees.”

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