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ABI Transparent Parental Leave Initative

Join the ABI in its voluntary initiative to demonstrate that the insurance and long-term savings sector is transparent about parental leave and pay. To take part, your company’s careers pages would have to be transparent about the detail of parental leave and pay that you offer to your staff.

This voluntary initiative, which has been approved by the ABI Board, is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate further our sector’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and will be vital in increasing our attractiveness to people considering working in the insurance and long-term savings industry. 

Research has found that parental leave and pay policies are a critical factor when considering a role, but applicants are concerned to ask about details in case it gives a bad impression of their commitment. Publishing this information, in this way, will position the insurance and long-term savings industry as the first sector to tackle this issue and signals to working parents about your firm’s desire to attract a wide base of talent.

This initiative is also an opportunity for the sector to be on the front-foot of potential legislation. The Government is currently consulting on legislation which would mandate firms with 250 employers or more to publish its flexible working and parental leave policies. This initiative, which is open to members of any size, will mean the sector will be ahead of the curve of mandatory reporting and it demonstrates clearly our commitment to working parents.

Further information on the background of the initiative and increased political and media scrutiny on the issue can be found below.

To be part of this sector-first initiative, members need to inform Isobel Graham of their expression of interest by 23 August. Participating firms name and brand will be part of our launch in September, ahead of any Government announcements.

How to take part

To be part of this sector leading initiative, members must include the following details on their website:

  • Parental leave and pay: the contractual pay and leave offered to new mothers /new fathers / primary adopters / other parents
  • Contractual pay and leave offered for those wishing to take parental leave or Shared Parental Leave
  • Any qualifying period for contractual leave and pay offered to new mothers and fathers e.g., length of service
  • Any repayment conditions if the parent does not return to work

Members are of course free to provide additional information, such as any leave or pay for carers.

Why is the ABI doing this?

In a recent survey by Mumsnet, 83% of respondents said they were reluctant to ask potential employers about maternity and paternity pay and leave policies because they feared it would make a job offer less likely. Yet parental leave and pay policies are absolutely critical to many job applicants: 84% of those surveyed say they are important to them when applying for or considering applying for a job.[1]

Creating transparency would position the insurance and long-term savings industry as the first industry to tackle this on a sector-wide basis.

This initiative would also allow our sector to be ahead of the curve on potential legislation. The Government issued a consultation on proposals to support working families on 19 July, following its Gender Equality Roadmap report which set out a range of actions that the government is taking to support women’s economic empowerment and close the gender pay gap. The consultation seeks views on proposals to better support parents to balance work and family-life. The consultation could lead to legislation requiring employers with 250 employees or more to publish its flexible working and family-related leave a pay policies which could be stored in a public database, similar to the Government’s gender pay gap reporting database.

Alongside the political scrutiny, there is growing media attention on maternity discrimination and profiling the best employers for their parental leave policies.

We, therefore, believe that publishing parental leave and pay policies are an easy, light-touch change that our sector can make to benefit our reputation as a sector committed to diversity and inclusion and to gain a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining the best talent.

Examples of good practice include Santander and PWC and indeed the ABI’s own careers pages.

[1] FT, 26 February 2019: “Mumsnet chief: Why employers should make parental leave clearer”