Diageo UK has announced a new policy to offer men and women an equal 52 weeks parental leave with the first 26-weeks fully paid.
Parents employed by Diageo in the UK will be eligible for the same fully-paid 26 weeks, retaining benefits and bonuses regardless of gender, sexual orientation or whether they become parents biologically, via surrogacy or adopt.
The ambitious move is part of Diageo’s leading work to support gender equality and to create a fully inclusive and diverse workforce, where barriers to career progression are removed and talent is retained and nurtured.
The offer is open to all of Diageo’s 4,500 employees across the UK, including approximately 3,100 colleagues in Scotland who are primarily in manufacturing roles.
Said Mairéad Nayager, Diageo’s Chief HR Officer, “True gender equality in the working world requires fundamental changes to a broad range of working practices, including a shake-up of the policies and cultural norms around parental leave.
“Today’s announcement is about matching ambition with action and supporting all of our colleagues – regardless of gender – to experience the joy of raising a young family, while continuing to thrive at work.”
Penny Mordaunt, Minister for Women and Equalities, added, “I’m delighted to see Diageo making this move. Shared parental leave gives both mums and dads the chance to spend quality time with their child in the important first months of their life, creating a bond that will last a lifetime.
“Employers can reap the benefits too. We know that flexibility in work is proven to create happier, more loyal and more productive workforces. Action like this is exactly what we are encouraging as part of our forthcoming strategy which will aim to empower every woman in the UK to achieve their true potential.”
The new policy also strengthens the support for parents as they return to work including the option of keeping in touch days, parental coaching, flexible working policies and access to free independent counselling.