The FTSE100 companies ranked by their maternity leave/paternity leave packages

The FTSE100 companies ranked by their maternity leave/paternity leave packages

Top insights

  • Majority of companies offer more than the statutory minimum
  • Most common policy allows up to 26 weeks full pay (6 months)
  • 58 thousand employees of the FTSE100 companies offered gender neutral parent leave
  • a fifth of FTSE100 companies offer gender neutral parent leave
  • A quarter do not disclose their packages.
  • top five companies include Abrdn, Natwest, Aviva, Diageo and Haleon

We have ranked the FTSE100 companies by their maternity leave packages. The findings, which researched the top 100 companies in the UK, found that the majority of companies offer generous maternity leave packages, with some offering up to a year of paid leave.

We found that the top five companies offering the most generous maternity leave packages were Abrdn, natwest, aviva, diageo and Haleon. 

We also found that the majority of companies offer more than the statutory minimum, with the most common being 26 weeks (or 6 months) and a fifth of companies offer gender neutral parent leave.

We hope that our findings will encourage more companies to review their parental leave policies and to ensure that they are offering competitive support packages to all employees.

Parents are a huge part of an organisation, around 80% of people will become parents at some point during their career, and recent data showed that parents are struggling. 8 in 10 dads say their workplace isn't doing enough to support them, and 9 in 10 women say they want better health support from their employer.

Our findings highlight the importance of offering generous maternity leave packages to attract and retain female talent. It also shows that companies are beginning to recognise the importance of supporting working mothers.

The research is a reminder that companies should be doing more to support working mothers and ensure that they are able to balance their work and family life. It is also a call to action for companies to review their maternity leave policies and ensure that they are offering the best possible support to their employees.

20 FTSE100 companies offer gender neutral parent leave

20 of the companies listed on the FTSE100 have now implemented gender neutral parental leave policies, allowing both mothers and fathers to take time off to care for their children.

A fifth of FTSE100 companies offer gender neutral parental leave. 

Gender neutral parent leave allows all new parents to take the same amount of time off work to care for their children. 

The companies that are offering gender neutral parental leave include some of the biggest names in the UK, such as Natwest, Aviva, Diageo. 

77% of mothers experience discrimination at work. 80% of new mothers now consider leaving their job during their maternity leave and 46% of mothers actually change employers so, it's a huge issue, it's a huge cost to businesses. The women's health gap has been found to worsen during and after reproductive years, which contributes toward inequality in the workplace. Gender neutral parent leave could be the solution to this problem.

The move is also being seen as a positive step for businesses, as it will help to attract and retain talented employees. It is hoped that this will lead to a more diverse and inclusive workplace, which will benefit both employers and employees.

How gender stereotyping plays out in the workplace 

According to The No Club authors stereotyping is rife in the workplace, with women  shouldering the load of “office housework” and low-value assignments, causing them to miss out on promotions and pay increases. Minute taking, tea making, organising minor tasks such as leaving gifts are nearly always allocated to women. They’re just expected to say yes to these thankless jobs because of traditional gender roles. 

On top of this, burden is often placed on the female partner to collect sick kids from school or nursery. Assumptions are made. If the father takes responsibility there’s sometimes a misogynistic response: “Can’t your wife do that?” even if the mother is the main breadwinner. Men are belittled for wanting to do more caregiving.

Gender stereotyping and parental leave

Generally in the UK workplace, women are expected to be the ones to take parental leave. Women are - because of the gender pay gap - earning less on average, and therefore many heterosexual couples feel it makes sense for them to take the hit in their careers. This expectation seems to have an impact on the uptake of dads when it comes to parental leave.

Men who’ve been employed for 6 months continually are entitled to take 2 weeks paternity, but there’s a considerably low uptake of around 35%. Part of the problem is that the initial two weeks are at a significantly low rate of pay - statutory rate of £148.68 per week. Many men opt to take accrued annual leave or holiday days instead. Current government policy also allows dads who qualify (via their partner’s qualification) to take shared leave, yet the rate of uptake is shockingly low at 2%.

Sadly, we’ve heard of cases where there’s been shaming of the mothers who dare to break from the “norm” and share their leave, returning to work, as if it’s against nature. And we’ve also heard from men who’ve been made to feel “silly” or even “cheeky” for daring to take their fair share of parental leave. 

Why aren’t dads expected to take parental leave?

Is it because there’s a culture of expectation with dads being in work while the mother takes care of the family and home? The outdated expectations do seem to play a part, as well as the poor pay.

However the Women’s Budget Group explains that - across employment sectors - there’s low awareness of parental leave policy and acknowledges that there is significant complexity in administering it. It’s complicated not only for individuals, but also managers and HR support professionals to navigate. 

So perhaps when new dads approach their employers seeking advice and support they’re met with blank faces or confusion as to why they’d want to take shared leave in the first place.

How can we make a change in the workplace?

Interestingly, many of the dads who do take a more involved role with their children and within the home talk about how they feel they can’t openly discuss this with their clients or at work because of the stigma attached to it. 

We know 80% of dads want more support from their workplace. They want to feel more confident and comfortable making decisions that break stereotypes. We should be supporting men to become caregivers – instead of expecting mothers to do all the labour. 

We talk about equality in the workplace, but if we actually want women to stand a chance of competing in the workplace, we should be improving parental leave and pay for them. 

Gender equality matters in the workplace and in the home. 

Dads taking greater responsibility for childcare, easing the home burden and enabling women to rejoin the workforce, will contribute to reducing the gender pay gap, but it will also have a huge impact on bonding with their children and benefit society as a whole.

We’d like to see more companies following suit and offering equal parent leave for all parents, but it’s going to take all of us talking about dads as caregivers and breaking the gender stereotypes to make it happen.

View the rankings here 


Data sourced from websites, job descriptions, and crowdsourced from employee in some instances.

This information does not entitle employees to the leave stated. Employees should check for eligibility requirements through their own manager or HR department.

Additional eligibility criteria may be required in all instances.