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Diageo announces fully paid 26-week equal parental leave for all UK employees

Diageo UK employees from today will enjoy some of the best parental leave benefits in the nation, with the FTSE 10 business announcing a new policy to offer men and women an equal 52 weeks parental leave with the first 26-weeks fully paid.

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Parents employed by Diageo in the UK will be eligible for the same fully-paid 26 weeks, retaining benefits and bonuses regardless of gender, sexual orientation or whether they become parents biologically, via surrogacy or adopt.

The ambitious move is part of Diageo’s leading work to support gender equality and to create a fully inclusive and diverse workforce, where barriers to career progression are removed and talent is retained and nurtured.

The offer is open to all of Diageo’s 4,500 employees across the UK, including approximately 3,100 colleagues in Scotland who are primarily in manufacturing roles.

“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 our colleagues – regardless of gender - to experience the joy of raising a young family, while continuing to thrive at work.”

Mairéad Nayager
Mairéad Nayager

Chief HR Officer

“I’m delighted to see Diageo making this move. Shared parental leave gives both mums and dads the chance to spend quality time with their child in the important first months of their life, creating a bond that will last a lifetime. Employers can reap the benefits too. 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.”

Penny Mordaunt
Penny Mordaunt

Minister for Women and Equalities

The new policy also strengthens the support for parents as they return to work including the option of keeping in touch days, parental coaching, flexible working policies and access to free independent counselling.

Watch one of our employees, James Ashall, CEO of Movement to Work, talk about his experience of shared parental leave:

"It can so significantly impact your choice if your employer is actively supporting people into parental leave.”

Having two young children and a wife who runs her own business, James discusses how he balanced his family life with his work life, and how it has developed his skill sets and his ability to work with people.

Diageo’s commitment to creating an inclusive and diverse working environment has been recognised by the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index in 2019. In 2018 Diageo was named by Thomson Reuters as the 4th most inclusive and diverse company in the world and ranked by Equileap as the best company in the UK for gender equality.