Leading the way on inclusion through equal parental leave

Case study

“The new family leave policy was introduced while my partner was pregnant, so we both feel incredibly lucky to have this additional time to start our family. It gives me great pride to work for Diageo – introducing such inclusive, progressive and bold policies.”

That’s the view of Stephen Harkin, a Production Team Leader at Leven in Scotland, who took parental leave after the birth of his son Finn as part of our Diageo Family Leave policy.

It’s an opinion shared by Chris Bailey, a National Account Manager based in Sydney, Australia. He took parental leave after the birth of his son Beauden, a little brother to his daughter Hollie, who was born in 2016.

"The time that parental leave offered to become a family of four was simply invaluable. It really was the best time of our lives, where I feel I developed into a stronger parent and partner, which has had significant long-term impact on us as a family." 

Global standards on maternity and paternity leave

We believe true gender equality at work requires fundamental changes to working practices, including a shake-up of the policies and cultural norms around parental leave. Our global Family Leave policy offers female employees in all markets a minimum of 26 weeks of fully paid maternity leave and we've also set a global minimum standard of four weeks paternity leave on full pay in all markets. And in more and more markets, we've introduced 26 weeks fully paid paternity leave – including in the United Kingdom, North America, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, Russia, Colombia, Venezuela, and Australia.

For Global Scotch Whisky Ambassador Ervin Trykowski, taking six months parental leave meant his wife Gemma could embrace motherhood whilst continuing to focus on running her own business. “When we found out we were going to be parents we were over the moon but with Gemma being self-employed we definitely had some questions as to how we were going to make it all work. Diageo’s Family Leave policy was announced about halfway into our pregnancy and has been game changing for the way we’ve been able to live as a family.”

Free to enjoy home life. Free to succeed at work.

Since we launched our Family Leave policy in 2019, we've seen our employees' use of parental leave increase significantly. In the 2020 financial year, our people took more than 163,000 days of parental leave – and the average number of days taken by men increased from 23 to 105.

Our aim for the policy is that it will support employees to focus on the joy of raising a young family, while continuing to thrive at work.

Chris explains: " Parenthood brings with it many challenges, but the one thing in common we all need is time.  Diageo provided this time and there can be no greater gift.  I’ve returned to work with renewed energy, perspective, and dare I say, for a change of pace after caring for a toddler and a baby for 26 weeks!"

Find out more about our commitment to championing inclusion and diversity in our 2020 Annual Report