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Danielle Ayres, senior associate employment solicitor at Gorvins, has spoken to People Management for their article ‘Employers ‘continuing to treat women who have children as a burden’.

Experts have stated that businesses tend to stick to maternity pay minimums, however a new survey, by Money Guru, suggests that some offer up to 36 weeks on full pay.

As most employers are continuing to treat women who have children as a “burden”, a significant number of “enlightened” businesses are offering enhanced parental leave packages that go far beyond minimum requirements. The research by Money Guru found that many employers saw maternity pay in particular as a way to increase inclusion and engagement – but elsewhere, a lack of commitment to enhancing parental pay packages was indicative of a regressive attitude to parenthood.

Management consultancy Accenture was found to be the top employer when it came to maternity leave, according to the research, offering 36 weeks of leave on full pay.

Closely followed by Transport for London followed who offer a package of 26 weeks’ fully paid maternity leave, 13 weeks’ statutory maternity pay and a possible additional 13 weeks’ unpaid leave, regardless of length of service. Others on the list boasted on-site crèches or baby hampers, in addition to enhanced leave.

Danielle Ayres told People Management that she had seen a growing trend among larger employers of offering a longer period of full pay, but said the vast majority stuck to standard levels of SMP as required by law.

“What I have found is a lot of employers are quite strict on benefits during maternity leave, but all that should be affected during that time is pay,” Ayres added. “Things like childcare vouchers, use of a company car and pensions should remain unchanged.”

She said she often had to “fight a battle” with employers over holidays, as women on maternity leave still accrue days off and can use holidays following their leave.

You can read the full article here.