Two thirds of fathers in HR feel as though paternity leave had a negative impact on their career

New research indicates that UK fathers who work within the recruitment and HR profession could be getting shortchanged when it comes to the early weeks of raising their children. Life insurance broker, Reassured, has investigated the need for a parental leave offering within the HR and recruitment sector. The experts spoke with UK fathers to determine their stance on the parental options they’re given.

According to the research, there are significant disparities in parental leave experiences with over one in six (17.1%) fathers being granted 5-6 weeks of paid parental leave, whilst 20% were allowed 1-2 weeks. Although 36% of those polled within HR and recruitment were given 5 to 6 weeks of paternity leave, two thirds of those did not feel as though they had enough time to bond with their child, and further stated they felt as though their career had been impacted from taking the leave.

Worryingly, 67% admitted that they felt pressure to return to work prematurely, and the same number of fathers added they were denied additional leave from their employers. Delving further into the topic, Reassured spoke to Danielle Baron to offer tips on what employers can do to make paternity leave more accessible to new parents:

  • Flexible Policies: Offer parental leave policies that are flexible and inclusive of diverse family structures, including same-sex couples and adoptive parents.
  • Inclusive Communication: Ensure that all communication related to parental leave is inclusive and avoids gender stereotypes. Use the term “parental leave” rather than “maternity leave”.
  • Equal Opportunities: Encourage all employees, regardless of gender, to take leave. Promote shared parental leave and strive for equal opportunities.
  • Return-to-Work Support: Comprehensive support for employees returning to work is essential. This support can include phased returns, flexible work arrangements, and access to counselling services when necessary.
  • Mentorship and Training: Offer mentorship and training programmes to help parents smoothly reintegrate into the workplace.

A spokesperson at Reassured comments further: “Our study highlights the need for continued efforts to improve parental leave policies. With life being filled with unforeseen twists and turns it’s crucial to ensure your family is protected should the worst happen.”