Over the past few years, organizations have experienced an increased competition for talent. One of the differentiators for organizations to attract and retain employees is an equitable and inclusive leave policy, which includes parental leave.


Parental leave policies touch on three crucial employee decision points:

  1. Whether to join a company
  2. Whether to remain with a company when starting a family
  3. Whether to return to a company after taking leave.

The resilience of organizations has been increasingly challenged with the combination of the already-existing competition for talent in addition to the global pandemic. Overnight, the pandemic changed the definition of a working parent. This is impacting employers as the attempt to balance the needs of their care-giving employees as they continue to respond to existing challenges.

Not sure where you are on the journey? Consider whether you:

  • Focus on maternity and paternity policies
  • Have shifted to primary and secondary caregiving
  • Have benchmarked your practices and are aligned to market
  • Have benchmarked your practices and are above market
  • Actively encourage employees to take leave
  • Have strong role models and success stories
Mother and little daughter sitting on the floor at home using laptop and tablet


As the challenges of the future arise for all, opportunities will also present themselves to individual organizations. The most successful organizations — those that will remain relevant and attractive to employees — will acknowledge the changing environment for parents, nurture their employees and adapt to consider this. Those who step up now to meet the needs of their employees will have the opportunity to thrive in the future.

Emily Eaton
Emily Eaton

Principal, US

Michelle Sequeira
Michelle Sequeira

Principal, Mercer UK

David Wreford
David Wreford

Partner, Mercer UK

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