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Changing demand for family-friendly work

Employers that are out-of-tune with the post-lockdown demand for family-friendly working will risk losing out on the best talent, according to Executive Coach Geraldine Gallacher.

Geraldine Gallacher

August 2020

Even before the Coronavirus pandemic hit, leading employers understood that a key battle ground in attracting the best talent was the perceived family-friendliness of their organisation.

With working, childcare and school arrangements in flux well into the next academic year, the quality and detail of information on parental benefits will be an increasingly critical tool in attracting and retaining the right talent to thrive and compete.

Yet, this year’s 2020 Parental Fog Index found that three quarters of top employers are still leaving candidates in the dark about pay and benefits for working parents, handicapping their ability to attract and retain the employees who want to balance work and family.

Those who read our 2019 report will recall it’s a yearly benchmark of the transparency of parental benefits for the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers, as published on their website.  The headline findings have attracted interest from employers and employees alike.

Four Key Findings

Many employers are leaving parents in the dark about the support they offer

Only a quarter (24%) publish policy details, including pay and duration of parental leave and flexible working arrangements.  While 76% publish generic (32%) or no details (44%). 

Global financial services employers are well represented in the top rank

The study, which places employers into five categories of visibility, rated 9% of employers in its top ‘beacon’ group up from 4% last year. In addition to publishing full details of parental policies, these employers actively market their support to working parents as core to their employer brand.  Beacon employers include Deloitte, EY, Grant Thornton, KPMG, PwC and Santander

Other FS employer would rise to “Fully Visible” with one simple change

Of the employers ranked “Visible” (32%), “Foggy” (18%), and “Invisible” (26%), all would rise to “Fully Visible” – the minimum measure for transparency around arrangements for working parents – by adding parental policies, including terms of pay and duration to their website.

Progress to improve transparency for parental benefits is slow

A total of 21 companies improved their ranking year-on-year, while 12 organisations fell in their ranking.

By choosing to be completely transparent about parental pay and benefits at the start of the recruitment journey, the ‘Beacon’ organisations identified in our report clearly demonstrate they are a place where people can progress their careers after starting a family

For those who are less transparent, the report provides a call to action to improve the visibility of basic information around pay and benefits or to risk missing out on talent as candidates may shy away from a recruitment process where questions about parental benefits might call into question commitment to their career. 

The study – The 2020 Parental Fog Index – is available to download 

Geraldine Gallacher, CEO, Executive Coaching Consultancy

London Accountant

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