According to a recent survey by Virgin Money, 60% of working parents would leave their current jobs if it meant they would be offered better parental leave benefits in another organisation. 58% of employees expressed that they were worried about missing out on career opportunities or promotions while on maternity leave, and 52% were worried about losing their job during maternity leave. The majority of those surveyed confirmed that they considered parental leave policies to be important factor when considering a new job.
The law firm, Baker McKenzie, has introduced new policies in a move to support working families. For example, paid paternity leave has been extended from 2 weeks to 12 weeks and the leave can be taken at any point in the year after a child’s birth or adoption. Baker McKenzie has also introduced a pregnancy loss policy to support staff who may require support following a miscarriage, still-birth, neo-natal loss, unsuccessful fertility treatment or abortion. Staff will be given up to 5 days of fully paid leave, but will be able to request further time off if they feel they need it.
Baker McKenzie will create a parenting area in their offices to help new mothers, pregnant employees and parents in their return to work. Parents attending the office on their keeping-in-touch days will have an area to change babies, bottle-feed or breastfeed. The space will also enable pregnant employees to rest during the working day.