Guinness' New Paternity Leave Described As Game-Changing
I cried every time my husband went back to work after our babies were born. I cried because I would miss him but also because our baby was still so tiny. He would miss out on so much of those first little moments.
It felt so unfair to me.
As we are all aware, a baby is both mum and dads. But why should mums get six months leave and not dads? It is essential for a newborn to bond with both parents and also essential for mum to have some help in those first few challenging months.
Commendably, Guinness has recently announced a new 26-week paternity leave for dads, or in a same-sex couple the other parent. Many countries will get to avail of a full 26 weeks paid paternity leave including Ireland, North America, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Russia, Colombia, Venezuela, and Australia amongst others.
The significant move by Guinness to offer new fathers six months’ paid paternity leave has been described as a potential game-changer for workplace equality.
Men working for the famous brewers, owned by Diageo, will be entitled to 26 weeks off on full pay when they have a baby, matching the maternity benefit paid to women.
From July 1, the 26 weeks’ paid parental leave will be offered to all Diageo employees in Ireland who become parents, regardless of gender or sexuality. It will apply regardless of how people become parents – via birth, adoption or surrogacy.
Economist Jim Power said Diageo is setting the bar high on paternity leave because of the tight labour market.
“Employers are being forced to look at innovative ways to make employment more attractive to workers,” he said.
Managing director of Brightwater Recruitment Barbara McGrath praised Diageo for introducing the paid paternity leave that would cement its place in an 'employers-of-choice' list.
She said retaining staff is uppermost in many employers' minds and improved paternity leave may give them an edge. "Workplaces are getting more competitive," she said. "People are definitely looking at jobs and it's not all about pay. It's about work-life balance."
Since 2016, new fathers have been entitled to two weeks' paid leave of €245 per week, under a Government scheme, but the uptake has been low.
Mairead Nayager, Chief HR Officer at Diageo said: "We are committed to creating a fully inclusive and diverse workforce and we strongly believe that businesses play a significant role in shaping the future of society.
"Global businesses like Diageo must make bold moves on policies and the environments in which their employees work to ensure that the progress people deserve happens."
The company hopes the new policy will help employees to focus on the joy of raising a family while also thriving at work.
Diageo also revealed that it will help show their commitment to supporting gender equality in the workplace,
Oliver Loomes, Diageo Ireland country director, said: ‘Our business has always had a strong record of being one of the best employers in Ireland. Today’s announcement is a significant step for us and shows our commitment to leading the way with progressive employment policies by supporting gender equality in the workplace.’
When a dad or a second parent goes back to work their new-born is usually 2 weeks old sometimes even earlier. They are not there for usually 40 hours a week in such an important time of their newborns life.
I hope with this announcement women will feel more supported with the other parent home and it will even have an impact on the rates of PND within the first 6 months. My husband going back to work on our fourth was a huge adjustment and an anxious time for me with three other children to look after too.
This 26-week other parent leave will have such a positive impact on families as a whole.
We think this is a fantastic step from such a reputable brand and would love to see more companies and brands follow suit.
Laura Doyle, Mum of 4. Kyle 9, Noa Belle 4, Briar 2 and Milla 12 months. Breastfeeder, co-sleeper, coffee drinker. Staying positive and inspired by the chaos of it all. Follow her on Instagram.