Diageo offers 26 weeks parental leave on full pay to all UK staff

Diageo has announced a new policy that will see it offer both male and female employees based in the UK an equal 52 weeks parental leave upon the birth of a child, with the first 26 weeks fully paid.

From today, parents employed by Diageo in the UK will be eligible for the same fully-paid 26 weeks, and up to 52 weeks unpaid, retaining benefits and bonuses regardless of gender, sexual orientation or whether they become parents biologically, via surrogacy or adopt.

The 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.

“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,” said Mairéad Nayager, chief HR officer at Diageo.

“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.”

The new policy will also see the company strengthen 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.

Minister for Women and Equalities, Penny Mordaunt, 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.”

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