While companies have progressed to match maternity and adoption offerings to paternity, employees have yet to take up the offer fully, with many still choosing to keep to the traditional model.
Given that these life events affect wellbeing, performance and retention, employers need to go beyond simply outlining these offerings in policies. Communication campaigns should be in place to help foster a change in the current climate, moving perceptions away from the idea that taking paternity leave is permitted and within the ‘rules’, towards a climate where it is actively encouraged.
If maternity leave and parental responsibilities are cited as a central factor contributing to Gender Pay Gap, then surely businesses have a duty to promote a culture whereby parents feel they can take advantage of shared parental leave and flexible working?
Challenge the process – change perceptions and the employee landscape through effective communication. Example: set up a Dad’s Network, which acts as a championing group to others.