According to new research by Mercer, only 36 per cent of organisations across the globe offer a global parental leave policy which covers multiple types of leave.

Mercer's Global parental leave report, which questioned 1,200 organisations based around the world, 112 of which were UK-based, also revealed that 64 per cent of firms only offered maternity leave for the birth mother. Twenty-four per cent also offered this type of leave to the primary caregiver, whether they were a man or a woman.

The research also found that 38 per cent of respondents to the research offered a paid paternity leave above the statutory minimum level, while 54 per cent offered paternity leave to the birth father only.

Of the organisations that did not currently have a parental leave policy in place, 12 per cent were mulling the prospect of implementing one.

Ilya Bonic, senior partner and president of the talent business at Mercer, said: “As benefits play a more significant role in employees’ choice of employer, parental leave policies are expanding beyond traditional maternity leave provisions.

“Parental leave policies can have a positive effect on both employees and employers; they help the workforce maintain a better work-life balance, especially the younger generation, and they promote the [organisation] as a more attractive place to work, improving retention during a time of continued demand for highly-skilled talent."

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