Diageo offers all UK staff 52-week parental leave

3rd April, 2019 by Melita Kiely

Johnnie Walker owner Diageo has furthered its commitment to support gender equality by offering all employees in the UK, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, an equal 52 weeks of parental leave – with the first 26 weeks paid in full.

James Ashall, from Diageo

Pictured: James Ashall, from Diageo, has shared his experience of paternity leave in a short video (see below)

The promise of 52 weeks’ parental leave and 26 weeks paid fully is being offered to workers regardless of whether they become parents biologically, via surrogacy or adoption.

Diageo employs 4,500 people across the UK, including approximately 3,100 employees in Scotland who are primarily in manufacturing positions.

Mairéad Nayager, chief HR officer at Diageo, said: “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.

“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 also offers greater support to parents returning to work, including the option of keeping in touch days, parental coaching, flexible working policies and access to free independent counselling.

Penny Mordaunt, minister for women and equalities, said: “I’m delighted to see Diageo make 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.”

Click the video below to hear from James Ashall, CEO movement to work, who shares his experience of paternity leave.

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