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This research is now complete, please see the final report into maternity & paternity policies.

March 8th 2021 was International Women’s Day (IWD) and it hit home to me how the digital marketing community is overlooking important employment benefits which could help attract and retain their current and future employees.

As a recruiter, I’m privy to employment contracts and the benefits an employee could be entitled to. More often than not, I’m walked through a list of easy to introduce company perks that help build a culture like Friday beers o’clock, duvet days, flexi-time with free food and drinks. This is great but what about the benefits which make a difference to the employee personally? 

Are they being offered enhanced benefits beyond what they’re legally entitled to? Employee benefits that are often publicly advertised are pension, private healthcare, life insurance, commissions or performance bonus, car allowance and subsidised travel cards. One which I have almost never seen advertised or even discussed when taking a job brief are the maternity or paternity policies. This is a shame and an important benefit overlooked by employers.

It’s crazy when you think about it. Maternity and paternity policies are something so many employees will come to use in the future, it’s hard to imagine why it’s not asked more about in the interview or contract negotiation stage or even used as a tool by employers to attract and retain staff when advertising the role.

I took part in discussions on IWD addressing maternity (and paternity) policies. It was particularly interesting for me as 1) I am female 2) I don’t have any children myself. However, it did open my eyes to the challenges an employee encounters if they are only offered UK statutory maternity/paternity benefits. Specifically, these are:

  • Money running out before the statutory one year a job must be kept open. This directly pressures an earlier return to work
  • Not having enough paternity leave
  • Addressing the complexity of premature babies brings to money entitlement running out well before ready for a return to work

This is why clockworkTalent is undertaking research to show what’s important to employees and what’s currently being offered. Which you can help with here:

👉 EMPLOYEE Maternity/Paternity Policy Questionnaire

👉 EMPLOYER Maternity/Paternity Policy Questionnaire

We profess to work in an agile industry and the company’s clockworkTalent works with have open-door policies, encourage internal ideation and adopt and implement their own staff suggestions. It’s great to see our employers recognising they are only as good as their staff and looking after their staff the best they can.

There’s a hypothesis (or is it industry legend?) that better maternity policies are offered in the employment contracts for client-side or inhouse digital marketing jobs, where you’re employed by a brand. On the flip side. Are agencies offering less attractive maternity and paternity policies because the digital marketing community has evolved so fast, that HR policies haven’t addressed maternity/paternity cover (I would have agreed 5 years ago but many are well established now and employers really should be doing better, shouldn’t we?). Is it because most agencies are male-founded companies? Is it because historically there are more men in the digital marketing community? Is it because women are only just now coming through the businesses to mid and senior-level where they are able to influence agency decision making? 

My goal in clockworkTalent undertaking this research is not to point fingers, name or shame but to show evidence of how important maternity and paternity benefits are to employees. That offering statutory is not enough. To provide evidence that this is important and worthy of review from an employer’s perspective. To show what is possible. It’s to give a platform to employers who offer enhanced maternity & paternity packages a platform to shout loud about these benefits. 

I love our industry, we’re so data-driven. It’s the evidence I’m looking for from our questionnaire results. I am aware since IWD one of our employers, an agency, has put their already enhanced maternity package on the agenda for review by their senior management team. Another is asking the question of us, what is a recommended industry benchmark?  These are progressive business owners who “get it”!!

Please take part in this groundbreaking industry research by answering our questionnaire about maternity and paternity benefits, either as an employer or an employee.

Thank you.