The 2014 Maternity Benefits Survey – carried out by careers specialist Glassdoor – found that only 32% of women were provided with maternity provision information, during their induction. Other statistics revealed that 40% of respondents found such detail difficult to find, and 13% had to go so far as to ask for it.

It seems therefore, that some employers are reluctant to disclose facts regarding their approach to maternity leave. What’s more there seems to be a certain degree of fear, among women, when it comes to discussing the subject. It was also reported that over 75% of survey respondents said they would not raise the subject of maternity benefits during a job interview, and only 42% would ask related questions when they announced their pregnancy.

Whilst many will be unsurprised by the figures, they do paint a somewhat worrying picture. Working mothers have a crucial role to play in the UK’s employment landscape and organisations have a legal obligation to prevent discrimination on these grounds. What’s more, businesses need to better acknowledge the contribution that all employees make to their company, regardless of factors such as age, gender or family status.

Cascade’s HR manager Donna Larvin commented: “Whether it is a case of an innocent oversight, or otherwise, I would encourage businesses to be more transparent when it comes to things such as maternity policies. If such information is difficult to find it can cause undue stress and concern. The same goes for paternity policies too of course, and organisations’ attitudes towards shared parental leave.

“The publication of Glassdoor’s statistics puts the topic of maternity leave in the spotlight once more, so what better time to ensure you’re adopting a professional and responsible approach? Your maternity, paternity and shared parental leave policies should be centrally stored on your HR system, to ensure easy access. And you should ensure that a printed or electronic copy of the information is included in new recruits’ induction packs.

“I’m sure your employees will appreciate this level of openness, which is especially important at a time when engaging and retaining talent is key.”

Cascade is currently working on a shared parental leave feature for online journal Personnel Today, which will be available in the New Year. Monitor the PT website, or Cascade’s Twitter account, to read the article in full.

If you would like any further information regarding the storage of important documents within Cascade’s HR software, or you would like to encourage your staff to view your maternity policies and so on, then why not speak to one of our experienced HR consultants on T: 0113 255 4115. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] or request a call back.

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