Wednesday 3 April 2019 9:49 am

Drinks giant Diageo launches equal parental leave to boost diversity

British drinks giant Diageo has revealed plans to give men and women equal parental leave in a bid to boost diversity in the workforce.

Parents will be eligible for 52 weeks parental leave with the first 26 weeks fully paid, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, the company announced today.

Read more: We need dads to fix the gender pay gap

Diageo, which employs 4,500 people across the UK, said it hoped the policy would remove barriers to career progression and help the company retain and nurture its talent.

The policy will be available for all employees, including its 3,000 workers in manufacturing roles in Scotland.

Chief HR officer Mairead Nayager 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 colleagues – regardless of gender – to experience the joy of raising a young family, while continuing to thrive at work.”

Last year MP Jo Swinson urged businesses to publish parental leave and pay policies to push transparency.

Women and equalities minister Penny Mordaunt welcomed Diageo’s move and said that aside from the obvious positives for parents, companies could also benefit from such a policy.

Read more: Goldman Sachs narrows gender pay gap slightly to 51 per cent

She said: “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.”