One in five young workers resign over parental leave

Poor parental leave policies have led one in five younger workers to quit their job, a survey has found.

A poll of more than 2,000 adults by Opinium found that 18 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds had left a job because of parental leave policies. A further 25 per cent had decided not to apply for a job because they thought parental leave policies were inadequate.

The poll was commissioned by Vodafone as part of research into how good parental support could help organisations to attract the best talent.

The company offers 16 weeks of fully paid leave for staff whose partners give birth and its parental leave and maternity policies include being paid for five days’ work while working four for the first six months after returning to work.

Polling suggested that 84 per cent of respondents thought that having a child had a negative impact on a person’s career, with possible effects including loss of income, slower progression, the cost of childcare, having to take time off and less flexibility.

More than half the adults surveyed, including two thirds of those aged 18 to 34, agreed that parental leave policies were a useful indication of whether or not an employer was good, even if they were not planning to have a baby.

The report highlighted a lack of transparency on parental leave. Mumsnet found last summer that only 23 of the FTSE 100 companies published details of maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoptive leave and pay.

Caroline Nokes, Conservative chairwoman of the women and equalities committee, said: “We have to do better in supporting new parents in the workplace.”