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Diageo announces fully paid 26-week equal parental leave for all UK employees

Published:  03 April, 2019

Diageo UK has announced it will allow men and women 52 weeks parental leave, with the first 26-weeks fully paid.

It said employees would retain benefits and bonuses regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or whether they become parents biologically, via surrogacy or adopt.

Diageo said the move was part of its “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 policy will apply to all of Diageo’s 4,500 employees in 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 increase 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, said: “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.”