A recent report has found that job ads were seven times likely to mention perks such as team socials, Christmas parties and pet-friendly offices over any kind of parental leave scheme.
Totaljobs analysed three quarters of a million UK job ads to review transparency around parental leave and found that less than one per cent of them mention any type of parental leave at all.
Despite the fact that two thirds of the UK workforce are parents, only 1 in 5 UK workers have heard of Shared Parental Leave, and only 1 in 2 are able to define what it is.
Interestingly, although men are just as likely to be interested in having children as women (74% vs 76%) much of the language currently used in job ads completely ignores them.
For example, the data reveals that there are over twice as many cases of gender-specific phrases such as ‘maternity leave’ in job ads than neutral phrases such as ‘parental leave’.
The traditional assumption that mothers remain the primary carer is evident with more than half (59% more) of job ads mentioning ‘maternity leave’ than ’paternity leave’. Of 2,758 ads for temporary parental leave covers, 16 were labelled as ‘paternity cover’.
CEO of Totaljobs, Jon Wilson, commented, “It’s surprising so few job ads are currently placing parental leave policies at the core of the benefits a company can provide.
“Parental leave policies are important to allow necessary time off, but also to attract and retain the best talent.
“We need to change the expectation that women are the primary carers by enabling all parents to have the same opportunity to take paid time off to look after their child.
Employers should also reflect this shift in gender roles onto their parental leave policies. Not doing so could risk employers coming off to potential candidates as outdated, or worse, intolerant. And that’s a crucial step to truly level the playing field.”
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