Which companies are leading the way in paternity leave?

paternity leave

The ‘motherhood penalty’ is a leading contributor to the gender pay gap, with women who have children by the age of 33 earning 15% less than their childless peers. So, which companies are taking action to encourage a more gender-equal approach to parenting?


New research carried out by Equileap has found that Diageo, Aviva and Investec are the best (UK) corporations for new dads, due to their parental leave policies.

The study looked at 200 large companies and found that all three of the above offered the most gender-equal package: 26 weeks paid leave to both mothers and fathers after the birth or adoption of a child.

‘A strong paternity package is essential to create equality in the workplace,’ said Diana van Maasdijk, chief executive at Equileap. ‘At the moment, it is nearly always the responsibility of a woman to take time out of their career for children whether they want to or not.’

The research focused on UK markets but Diageo has confirmed it will be rolling out its policy to employees in global markets this year, including North America, Ireland, Russia, Australia, Thailand, Italy and Venezuela.

US companies leading the way on this front include Spotify, (six months paid leave to both parents); Etsy (26 weeks paid leave to both parents) and Twitter (20 weeks paid leave to both parents). All policies are available to employees globally. 

Sweden’s policy is the frontrunner for gender equality however, with all parents entitled to 16 months leave per child (paid at about 80% salary). Three months have to be taken by each parent (increased from two months in 2016 to encourage men to take more leave). The rest can be divided between parents as they choose.