No one said becoming a new parent would be easy, but no one ever said it would be so difficult. Often left to the realm of sleep-deprived new moms to manage the first few months, maternity leave prevents their partners from fully supporting their other half during those precious but tedious first days.
Companies are slowly but surely becoming aware of the virtues of gender-neutral leave policies, which offer pregnant women, fathers and partners access to the same paid parental leave. In doing so, it helps promote the shared sharing of parental responsibilities and promotes greater equality in the workplace. A win-win situation.
A leader in Adland, Pablo says it is the first agency offering shared parental leave, with its joint managing director Hannah Penn insisting that supporting fathers and associates is “one of the best ways businesses can. provide meaningful support to working mothers.
“There is an outdated assumption that a mother will assume the lion’s share of parenthood in the first few months of a child’s life, crystallized in motherhood and fatherhood policies that make it unaffordable for a father to take much more. two weeks.”
She explains that industries have inadvertently treated the presence of a father in the first days of their child’s life as if it were a few weeks of vacation.
“That doesn’t feel right to us,” she insists. “We have a lot of working parents at Pablo and great role models, not least our founder Gareth Mercer, who has chosen to take a much longer period of time from work to support his partner and his new baby at such a crucial time. – and we wanted to make sure it was available for everyone.
Invented Swedish-style parental leave, while Pablo’s decision to launch a gender-neutral leave policy feels gradual, Sweden was the first country in the world to replace gender-specific maternity leave with back leave. parental in 1970.
Nowadays, new parents in Sweden are entitled to an accumulated 480 days of paid parental leave upon the birth or adoption of a child.
Now, a growing trend, in April last year, Swedish carmaker Volvo announced 24-week, gender-neutral parental leave for all of its 41.5,000 global workers, which it says was inspired by legislation to his home country.
Begging his fellow agencies to follow Pablo’s lead, Penn says, “We all talk a lot about things together in agencies about everything being together, and it feels important to find ways to make sure that we really are.
“Parental decisions should be made by parents. Let’s do what we can to help parents decide what’s best for them. We would also say that we hope more ideas like this come up, and we look forward to being inspired by others that we can implement for our team.
While the pandemic undoubtedly threw a massive wrench in the works, a welcome side effect is many companies have come to realize the importance of offering their staff all the support and flexibility they juggle. work / life balance.
Back in July, Publicis Groupe in the UK launched a family policy for all of its employees, which increased the group’s previous maternity policy benefits from 16 to 26 weeks and paternity from two to four weeks at full pay.
He also introduced policies on fertility and pregnancy loss, which is a growing trend across Adland, as employers try to get the message across that they know everyone’s family life is important.
Miscarriages occur in about one in four recognized pregnancies, but the government did not introduce paid parental leave for the loss of a baby until after 24 weeks in April 2020.
Likewise, with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development finding three in five of those showing symptoms at work saying it had a negative impact on their performance, greater awareness of the impact of menopause was a advanced welcome.
In July, Dark Horses launched an open source menopause policy to educate all of its employees about the disease.
Pablo’s shared parental leave policy is therefore a positive step forward in making the workplace a better place for everyone, and Penn hopes that one day all agencies will follow suit.
“We hope that one day will be sooner than we think,“ she says. “One of the best ways for us to accelerate the elimination of gender inequality in the workplace is to end the maternity tax – the terrible reality that during some phase of A woman’s career, she is seen as risky or fickle because she is likely to be in and out of work on maternity leave.
“Gender neutral parenting policies will help reframing parenting in the eyes of the business not as a female responsibility, but as a man, and the more men who we can support by actively participating at home, the better women will be supported in their work. We hope this is just a positive way to start changing that.