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Bright Horizons Research: Parental Leave and Family Support Benchmark UK 2023

This research looks at the landscape of parental leave policy and practice and answers the question of ‘what good looks like’

This research, from more than 500 organisations, is presented in an at-a-glance format, so organisations can easily see which benefits, policies and provisions are the baseline for parental leave support, and which ones will give them a competitive edge.

This year, the research also looked beyond the parent transition into provisions for ongoing parents and for carers of adult dependants.

Key findings

  • There is a growth in the provision of inclusive family leave not tied to gender or role in parenting. 56% reported some level of role-inclusive leave.
  • The most frequently offered inclusive leave is 6 weeks and the average length of inclusive leave is 14 weeks. So, inclusive leave offerings are clustered around 6 weeks, while some much fuller offers push up the overall average. 
  • For maternity/adoption, 26 weeks of fully-paid leave is becoming firmly established as the benchmark in several sectors. 
  • There has been a small drop in the overall proportion of employers reporting enhanced maternity/adoption, paternity or shared parental leave above statutory pay. 
  • There is a consistent pattern of practical supports provided by employers, alongside paid leave, suggesting that their budget is being shared between other offerings - such as coaching, care, phased returns - and the leave itself. 

Related topics

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