Feature

Adland's parental leave policies revealed

Thinking of having a baby? Here's what you need to know about the biggest agencies and their parental leave policies.

Adland's parental leave policies revealed

If you are thinking about having children in the future, working out how a current – or potential – employer will support you is an important consideration. Yet, for many people, asking to see parental leave policies while either employed or at interview stage is a scary prospect. There may be strict discrimination laws in place, but many men and women would not feel comfortable sharing a very private decision with an employer.

Campaign thought it could help.

We have asked the UK’s biggest creative, digital and media agencies to share their policies with us so that you can see, in one place, how they compare. 

The results were fascinating. Recruiting and retaining the best talent is a perennial issue for agencies and their traditionally long working hours, combined with client-service remits, often make it difficult for employees to strike a great work/life balance. Parts of the industry have realised this current state of play may not be good for business and that its future depends on changing the way it operates. Agencies are certainly very vocal about the many ways they are promoting diversity and flexibility. But do their policies back up their rhetoric?

Several agencies had changed parental policies by the time we went to press on this piece. Others chose not to give the policies at all. Of the 40 agencies or agency groups that shared theirs, there was a wide range of pay and benefits on offer.

Particularly notable was the disparity among agencies within the same holding company; you may have thought such benefits would be standardised across a group. At WPP, AKQA offers the most generous package with 26 weeks of maternity leave at full pay (after five years' service). Bartle Bogle Hegarty continues to enjoy a privileged position outside the core Publicis Communications group and offers two extra weeks of paid maternity leave compared with its sister ad agencies. IPG Mediabrands offers nine weeks of fully paid paternity leave – far more than its sister creative agencies – and grants extra paid time off to any employee whose baby is born prematurely.

What was encouraging is that all agencies offer some form of enhanced benefits. Agencies appeared to be clustered around two areas – several offer enhanced maternity packages of around three months at full pay, while another group of agencies offer six months at full pay or some level above statutory. Some offer return-to-work bonuses.

All agencies said they offer flexible working – what this means in practice is another matter. Publicis Groupe UK’s Starcom recently warned that it would have to revoke its flexible working policy if more people did not start going into the office on Fridays. Many agencies have parent support groups or "buddy systems" matching new parents with older ones. Others offer return-to-work coaching.

Of course, financial packages are just one part of a complicated and very individual picture. A genuine belief in flexible working and supportive managers and colleagues may be worth far more than extra money, although with the UK – and in particular London’s – childcare rates some of the most expensive in the world, money certainly helps ease the pressure.

Overall, there were a few agencies that really stood out for going above and beyond to help their staff. Independent media agency Goodstuff Communications has the most generous financial policy, offering eligible employees a whopping 39 weeks at full pay, while fathers are given four weeks at full pay – double what many offer. For the first six weeks after returning to work, parents can also come in late or leave early.

Likewise, Accenture-owned Karmarama, which updated its policy this year, offers 32 weeks at full pay, a return-to-work bonus, a total of eight weeks of fully paid paternity leave, plus several other benefits including reduced hours for the first six weeks post-return.

Sister Accenture shop Droga5 offers a solid financial package – 24 weeks at full pay – as well as little extras to make life easier for pregnant women and returning mothers. VCCP pays 26 weeks at full pay after two years, Wieden & Kennedy staff get 24 weeks' full pay after two years and the7stars' maternity policy is 24 weeks of full pay after four years. WPP's Ogilvy and Wavemaker offer full pay for 23 weeks (after two years) and full pay for two weeks followed by 90% for 24 weeks (after one year) respectively. 

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO is the only agency that offers better proportional maternity pay to its more senior staff – board members who have been at the agency for more than two years end up with full pay for six months when their return-to-work bonus is taken into account, compared with the six months at 60% of their pay that non-board staff receive in total (although staff earning less than £60,000 get help with childcare when they return).

Interestingly, Engine and M&C Saatchi were the only agencies to specify the amount of time primary carers had to be back at work between each period of maternity leave to qualify for enhanced benefits for subsequent children (nine months and two years respectively). At Havas London, new parents get a £100 voucher, while at sister division Havas Group Media they get £150. MullenLowe London's policy spells out that staff must be partners of the mother of the child and planning to take the time off to help care for the baby to be entitled to enhanced paternity pay.

To help you understand the acronyms used in the policies or what statutory maternity pay is, the section below explains an employee’s legal rights when it comes to parental leave. Alternatively, you can skip ahead to the policies. Of course, these are edited highlights of the agency’s policies and we have only pulled out the enhanced benefits. An individual would still need to check their eligibility and read the small print.

Campaign intends to keep this page updated and publish subsequent editions. If you are an agency on the list with a new policy, or an agency that wants to be featured, please get in touch. If you are interested in a particular agency’s policy that is not on this list, let one of the Campaign team know. 

What are my legal rights?

During pregnancy, you are entitled to paid time off for antenatal care.

Pregnant employees working for 26 continuous weeks (six months) for a company by the "qualifying week" – the end of the 15th week (three-and-a-half months) before the "expected week of childbirth" (EWC) – are entitled to statutory maternity pay (SMP). 

Most agencies offer similar enhanced benefits for those on adoption leave or after a surrogacy as their main maternity leave policies. Campaign will use the term maternity leave throughout this piece for brevity to refer to the extended period of time any person takes off after giving birth to a child or adopting a child as the primary carer. Similarly, the entries below use the term SMP, but if a primary carer was on adoption leave, it would be the statutory equivalent of SMP (known as statutory adoption leave). 

SMP is set by the government each year and is currently 90% of your average weekly earnings for the first six weeks of maternity leave, then for the following 33 weeks of maternity leave the set rate is determined by the government each year (£148.68 per week from April 2019) or 90% of your average weekly earnings if lower. 

People who give birth or primary carers who adopt are entitled to take 52 weeks off for maternity leave, but as SMP will end at week 39, the last 13 weeks will be unpaid. Companies have to keep your exact job open for the first six months you are on leave. If you take longer, you have the right to your job or a similar job (with the same or better terms and conditions) on your return.

SMP is paid in the same way as standard pay. You are entitled to this whether or not you return to work. Tax and national insurance are deducted. 

Statutory paternity pay is payable for a maximum of two weeks and at a flat rate set by the government (£148.68 per week from April 2019) or 90% of your average weekly earnings if less. This piece uses the term paternity pay or leave to refer to the pay or time off a partner of a person who has given birth (or the secondary partner in a couple who adopts) receives, regardless of their gender.

While on maternity leave, you will continue to accrue holiday and most agencies will also allow you to accrue bank holidays. Benefits also remain in place (such as pensions, private medical insurance and life insurance). You will also be entitled to pay reviews and pay rises.

All the agencies that responded offer enhanced maternity or paternity packages. To qualify for these enhanced benefits, employees usually need to have worked at a company for a certain period of time. Like with SMP, this is usually calculated from the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth – when an individual is around six months pregnant. You will need to check eligibility with your individual agency. Sometimes this extra money will need to be paid back if you decide not to return to work or leave within a year of your return.

Many companies – and this includes most of the agencies below – also offer 10 "keeping in touch" days for employees on leave to use, which are paid at their normal full-day rate and can help ease the transition back to work. ("Keeping in touch" days are optional – both an employer and employee have to agree for them to take place.)

Once a year, all employees – parents or not – are also entitled to apply for flexible working.

Since April 2015, couples have been able to share their leave after the birth of their baby or adopting a child. Statutory shared parental leave is also paid at £148.68 a week or 90% of your average weekly earnings if lower. In total, couples are entitled to 39 weeks of paid leave and 13 weeks' unpaid leave. For example, if the primary carer goes back to work at 30 weeks, their partner will receive nine weeks of paid leave, followed by 13 weeks of unpaid leave. 

Where an agency has outlined its enhanced shared parental leave policies, these have been included. Sometimes any paternity leave already taken will be deducted from these enhanced benefits, but the partner will always be entitled to statutory pay up to a combined total of 39 weeks. Some additional agencies might offer enhanced shared parental leave policies beyond those included in the list.

See the policies

ACCENTURE

Droga5 London

After 12 months of continuous service, Droga5 London provides 24 weeks of fully paid maternity pay to employees and two weeks' fully paid parental leave.

In order to support a phased return to work, employees can adjust or reduce their hours and work from home one day a week in the first month back at work.

Droga5 also provides an on-site mother's room, cabs to and from work for expectant mothers in their last month of pregnancy and free breast milk delivery for nursing mothers on business travel.

Karmarama

If you have worked for the company for 26 weeks, you are entitled to 32 weeks at full pay, plus seven weeks' statutory pay for maternity leave. 

The paternity policy is four weeks at full pay, plus an additional, flexible four weeks to be taken throughout the first year at full pay.

New mothers and fathers are entitled to finish work an hour early for the first six weeks of their return at full pay. 

All employees receive a bonus if they return from maternity leave, but it is dependent on their length of service. This is paid in the second payroll post-return from maternity leave and will not be paid if the employee has resigned and are in their notice period. If the employee has worked at Karmarama for between two to three years, this is two weeks' pay; three to four years is three weeks' pay, and more than four years is four weeks' pay.

Karmarama says it is "really flexible about time out for important family stuff" and says it is essential to be there for school drop-off, their first day back or the nativity play. Staff simply need to agree any time they need with their manager in advance.

DENTSU AEGIS NETWORK

Dentsu Aegis Network’s enhanced maternity or adoption pay offers up to 20 weeks at 100% pay. For the remaining period, up to 39 weeks, staff receive SMP. 

Enhanced paternity leave includes two weeks at full pay and one week at 50% pay.

For the first two weeks after returning from maternity, adoption and shared parental leave, staff can finish early.

The group also offers a buddy scheme whereby employees can choose to be paired with an employee who has recently been on leave and/or is a working parent. Dentsu Aegis Network also has a tailored online learning programme and a "parents and carers" speaker series.

HAVAS

Havas told Campaign that it is currently in the process of re-evaluating and enhancing its parental leave policies. As it has not yet announced these to staff, the company was unable to disclose them.

Havas Group Media

Staff are offered significantly enhanced maternity pay, although Havas did not confirm the details.

For paternity leave, staff get one month at full pay. Shared parental leave is "fully matched".

New parents receive a £150 voucher as a gift (regardless of length of service). Havas offers all parents going off on an extended period of leave (maternity or shared parental leave) parental coaching.

Havas London 

Havas’ creative agency also claims to offer "significantly enhanced maternity pay". It offers one month’s paternity leave at full pay and gives out a £100 gift for all new parents (regardless of length of service). 

INTERPUBLIC

FCB Inferno

Enhanced packages are offered to employees who have been with the company for more than 18 months. FCB Inferno also offers return-to-work bonuses for mums coming back after maternity leave.

The agency offers parental coaching for all parents at the expecting stage, pre-return and once they have returned, to help with the transition and give them an extra layer of support. 

IPG Mediabrands (Initiative and UM)

Maternity, adoption or shared parental pay includes 26 weeks at full pay, followed by 13 weeks' SMP. New fathers are entitled to take nine weeks off as paternity leave at full pay.

IPG Mediabrands was the first UK media agency to be awarded The Smallest Things’ "Employer with heart" charter mark for granting extra time off to any employee whose baby is born prematurely. The package provides fully paid leave for parents of babies born before week 37 from the day their baby is born up until their due date (week 40). From week 40, the standard company maternity/paternity leave entitlement begins.

A parent buddy scheme matches new parents with another who has recently taken leave to provide informal support and guidance. Parental coaching is offered to support before, during and after leave, ensuring a smooth transition back to work. There is also a women’s network.

IPG Mediabrands also offers sabbaticals, including the opportunity to work fewer months of the year with your pay spread over 12 months (eg to take summer off to spend with the children). 

MullenLowe Group

After one year, staff receive 100% of their salary for six weeks, 50% for 12 weeks and then SMP for 21 weeks, followed by 13 weeks unpaid. After three years, employees are paid their full salary for 12 weeks, half their salary for 12 weeks and then SMP for 15 weeks. After five years, MullenLowe pays staff 100% of their salary for 12 weeks, followed by 75% of their pay for 12 weeks and SMP for 15 weeks. 

New fathers – who have passed their probation, are partners of the mother of the child and are planning to take the time off to help care for the baby – are entitled to take up to two weeks' paternity leave. Leave can be taken in a block of two weeks or as two non-consecutive weeks and is paid at the employee’s normal basic salary. 

R/GA London

Most employees receive up to 24 weeks of full pay. R/GA's shared parental leave also mirrors this for any parents wishing to share their leave. 

Any prospective father (whether paternal or adoptive) is eligible for up to three weeks' paternity leave at full pay following the birth or adoption of a child.

OMNICOM

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO 

Staff on maternity leave get full pay for six weeks followed by 12 weeks at half pay, 21 weeks at statutory pay and 13 weeks unpaid after one year’s service. After two years' service, employees receive a return-to-work bonus that brings the total pay over the first six months to 60% of their average salary.

If a member of the AMV board goes on maternity leave, they get a longer period of half pay – 20 weeks – followed by 13 weeks' SMP and 13 weeks' unpaid leave after working at the agency for 12 months. After two years, AMV board members get a return-to-work bonus that brings total pay for the first six months to 100% of their average salary. 

Partners who have worked at the company for 26 weeks are entitled to four weeks’ full pay for paternity leave. 

New parents looking to take shared parental leave are entitled to six weeks at 100% of their pay (including the four weeks of paternity pay), followed by 12 weeks at 50% of their salary, 21 weeks of statutory shared parental leave pay and 13 weeks' unpaid leave. A return-to-work bonus brings the pay up to 60% of the parent’s salary for staff who have worked at the agency for two years.

Those at board level taking shared parental leave get six weeks at full pay (including the four weeks of paternity leave), followed by 20 weeks at half pay, 13 weeks of statutory pay and 13 weeks' unpaid leave. A return-to-work bonus brings the pay up to 100% of the person’s salary over a six-month period.

AMV has also introduced a return-to-work pilot childcare support scheme. The initiative is available to employees who qualify for enhanced maternity or enhanced shared parental leave and earn £60,000 or less. The agency contributes £500 (net) per month towards childcare costs upon the person’s return to work. This benefit can only be paid to Ofsted-registered childcare providers.

The agency also offers pregnant employees a number of sessions with an external maternity coach.

Adam & Eve/DDB

The amount Adam & Eve/DDB pays staff for maternity, adoption and shared parental leave depends on their tenure. After one year’s service, staff get 100% of their salary for six weeks, 50% for the following six weeks and then statutory pay for 27 weeks (and 13 weeks unpaid).

After two years, employees are paid 100% of their salary for 12 weeks, followed by SMP for 27 weeks (and 13 weeks unpaid). Once they’ve worked at the agency for three years, employees get 100% of their pay for 12 weeks, 50% for six weeks and then statutory pay for 21 weeks (and 13 weeks unpaid). Staff with five years’ tenure are paid 100% of their salary for 12 weeks, half pay for 12 weeks and statutory pay for 15 weeks (and 13 weeks unpaid). 

Adam & Eve/DDB assigns a "return buddy" to those coming back to work and offers an employee assistance programme with Unum. The agency is working with Talking Talent this year to offer working parents coaching via a series of in-house workshops.  

TBWA\London

TBWA\London offers enhanced pay from day one of service – an employee doesn’t have to work for the agency for a certain period of time to qualify. Enhanced pay means 100% of earnings for 12 weeks, followed by 27 weeks at SMP and 13 weeks' unpaid leave.

The agency says it "actively looks to hire the best talent, including pregnant women and people on maternity, paternity and shared parental leave", because "diversity is at the forefront of its strategy".

TBWA\London partners a selection of external organisations, such as Nabs, to help returning parents adjust and embed themselves back into the working environment. A variety of support workshops, group sessions and one-to-one sessions are made available.

PUBLICIS GROUPE

Bartle Bogle Hegarty

BBH will "top up" the first 18 weeks of SMP to equal a total of 18 weeks' full pay for employees who have worked at the agency for more than two years. After this, employees receive 21 weeks of SMP (and 13 weeks' unpaid leave). 

Staff with more than two years’ service receive 10 days' full pay for their paternity leave.

An employee can share their partner’s 52-week maternity leave entitlement with enhanced pay (provided they have 26 weeks' continuous service). After one year's service, partners get six weeks' full pay (followed by statutory); after two they get 12 weeks' full pay (followed by statutory); and after three years of service, staff get 18 weeks' full pay as shared parental leave (followed by statutory).

BBH also has an established network of working parents who advise and support returning parents during the first months of adjustment and has recently introduced a buddy system.

Publicis Communications and Publicis Media

Including Digitas, Leo Burnett London, Publicis Worldwide UK, Saatchi & Saatchi London, Spark Foundry, Starcom and Zenith

After one year’s service, maternity leave includes 16 weeks at full pay, 23 weeks' statutory pay and 13 weeks' unpaid leave. 

The company gives employees two weeks' paid paternity leave (leave must be taken within eight weeks of the birth or adoption). 

If an employee is adopting a child, they will have the same rights to those in the maternity policy. If an employee and their partner adopt a child, the employee has rights that are the same to paternity leave.

Publicis Groupe also introduced flexible working for all employees across the UK.

WPP 

AKQA

Staff who have worked at the agency for more than 26 weeks but less than two years get 100% of their pay for the first six weeks, followed by 50% for seven weeks, 25% for 13 weeks and SMP for 13 weeks.

If you have worked at AKQA for between two and five years, you get 100% pay for 13 weeks, 75% for the following 13 weeks, 25% for the 13 weeks after that and then unpaid leave for 13 weeks. 

AKQA pays staff who have worked at the agency for more than five years 100% of their salary for 26 weeks, followed by 50% for 13 weeks. 

Additionally, mothers coming back after maternity leave are eligible for a bonus of either £3,000 paid in three instalments or £3,000 towards maternity coaching. 

AKQA has matched its shared parental leave with enhanced maternity leave. It operates as a tiered benefit available to all employees after six months of service.

The agency’s flexible working policy has been in place since 2014. Currently, 15% of the studio have formal flexible working patterns. 

Essence

After one year’s continuous employment, staff get paid 90% of their salary for six weeks, 85% for 20 weeks, followed by 13 weeks of SMP, then 13 weeks unpaid.

While staff are on maternity leave, Essence pays a bonus in line with your maternity pay pro rata of your salary. The company element is calculated using an evaluation of its performance across the full period of the person’s employment and the individual contribution reflects an evaluation of their performance when they went on leave.

Staff who have completed one year’s continuous employment with Essence are entitled to up to two consecutive weeks of paternity leave at their full-time salary.

Grey 

If an employee has more than a year’s service, they are entitled to Grey’s enhanced maternity package: 12 weeks at 100% pay and six weeks at 55% pay, followed by 21 weeks' SMP. 

Employees get two weeks of paid paternity leave.

If an employee has more than a year of service, they are entitled to Grey’s enhanced shared parental leave package: 12 weeks of full pay (any paternity leave already taken will count towards these weeks), six weeks at 55% of basic weekly salary and 21 weeks of statutory shared parental pay.

Group M 

If staff have worked at Group M for two or more years by the start of the 11th week before the EWC, they are entitled to 100% of pay for the first 12 weeks, followed by 50% for the next six weeks, dropping to SMP until week 39.

Upon notifying the company of the birth of their baby, employees receive a bonus equivalent to one week’s pay by cheque (subject to tax and national insurance deductions).

Upon an employee’s return to work, the company will pay a monthly bonus equivalent to 10% of their monthly salary for a maximum of 12 months. This will be based on their pro-rata salary if they return part-time. This extra money must be repaid if employees do not return to work or if they leave or are dismissed within a year of returning.

Paternity leave is two weeks at full pay, to be taken in a block or as separate weeks.

MediaCom

Staff who qualify for the enhanced maternity package receive 100% of their salary for the first 12 weeks of their leave, 50% for the next six weeks and then statutory pay for the following 19 weeks (followed by 13 weeks' unpaid leave).

Employees also receive one week’s pay as a baby bonus on giving birth and a return-to-work bonus equivalent to 10% of their monthly salary for a maximum of 12 months.

The agency also provides one-to-one coaching for anyone going on long-term shared-parental leave and women going on maternity leave.

Paternity is up to two weeks at full pay, taken in one- or two-week blocks.

Mindshare 

Staff who have been continuously employed by Mindshare for at least one year at the EWC are entitled to 100% of their base salary for the first 13 weeks. They then receive SMP for the remaining 26 weeks of paid leave.

Employees with more than two years’ service get 100% of their base salary for the first 13 weeks, followed by 50% for the next 13 weeks, then statutory pay for the remaining 13 weeks of paid leave.

After more than five years’ service, employees receive 100% of their base salary for the first 13 weeks, 75% for the next 13 weeks, then statutory for 13 weeks.

Paternity leave is two weeks at full pay, taken in one or two week blocks.

Employees with more than two years’ service at the EWC will also benefit from additional "flex days", which can be used within the first 12 months of the baby being born. Staff with two to five years' service get two "flex days" and staff who have worked for over five years get five flex days.

M/SIX

If you have more than two years’ service by the qualifying week, staff are entitled to 12 weeks' maternity leave at 100% pay, six weeks at 50%, with the remaining 21 weeks paid at SMP. 

A return-to-work bonus of six weeks of an employee's normal basic rate of pay (based on the salary they were earning when they left for maternity leave) is paid in equal tranches over their first three months back to work. If employees resign within six months of returning to work, they are required to pay back 100% of their return-to-work bonus; if they resign within 12 months of returning to work, they are required to pay back 50% of the return-to-work bonus. 

Staff also get three sessions of return-to-work coaching.

All M/SIX employees with more than 26 weeks' service are entitled to its enhanced paternity pay of two weeks' full basic pay.

Ogilvy

Ogilvy pays staff who give birth after working at the agency for more than two years 23 weeks at 100% of basic pay, followed by 16 weeks' statutory pay. Employees who have worked at the agency for between 26 weeks and two years get 10 weeks at 100% basic pay.

Partners can take two consecutive weeks of paternity leave on full pay within 60 days of the birth or adoption of a child.

Once parents return to work, they have the support of the Parents@Ogilvy network, where they can participate in discussions with other parents and lean on resources regarding parenthood. 

Wavemaker

Staff with at least one year’s service get 100% of their pay for the first two weeks, 90% for the next 24 weeks and SMP for the 13 weeks after that, followed by 13 weeks' unpaid leave.

Maternity pay must be paid back in full if staff resign during maternity leave or within the first six months of returning to work. Half the maternity pay must be paid back if employees resign within six months to a year of returning.

Paternity leave is two weeks at full pay for those who qualify.

Wunderman Thompson 

A statement from the agency said: "As we go through the necessary steps to bring our agencies together, we are not only reviewing our current legacy agency processes, but thoughtfully researching the best possible industry practices. Our goal is to establish a new set of procedures – that are inclusive of and generous to all parents – by 2020."

INDEPENDENTS 

Amplify

Staff with 12 months’ service are paid their full salary for four weeks, followed by two weeks at 90% and then 33 weeks at SMP. After two years at Amplify, employees receive eight weeks at 100%, then 31 weeks at SMP. After three years, Amplify pays staff 100% of their wage for 12 weeks (followed by 27 weeks at SMP); after four years' service, it pays 16 weeks of full pay (followed by 23 weeks of SMP). 

And Rising

Enhanced maternity leave is three months’ full pay. Enhanced paternity leave is four weeks' full pay.

Shared parental leave policy supports the enhanced pay options. 

And Rising says it is supported by law firm Clyde & Co, which benchmarks for the agency every year so it can ensure its offer is in line with the market and any changes.

Engine

Engine pays staff that have been continuously employed for one year – or have returned to work from their previous period of maternity leave nine months before the EWC – 100% of their basic pay for the first 17 weeks of maternity leave. If they decide not to return to work, or resign during the first nine months after returning to work, any enhanced maternity pay already paid is repayable immediately.

Partners who have been employed for one year by the EWC – or, in the case of adoption, by the end of the "matching week" – are paid 100% of their salary during two weeks of paternity leave.

Engine has a "buddy scheme" to match those who are pregnant, new parents or those who have just returned to work with other colleagues who are also pregnant or already parents to help offer support. 

Fold7

Fold7 pays staff eight weeks' maternity leave at full pay after two years of employment; 12 weeks of full pay after three years' employment plus a month’s pay as a return-to-work bonus; and 12 weeks of full pay followed by six weeks at half pay and a month’s pay as a return-to-work bonus after staff have worked at the agency for five years.

Partners who have worked at the agency for the entire pregnancy get two weeks’ paid leave. After three years at the agency, partners get three weeks’ paid leave and after five years they get four weeks of paid leave.

Partners are entitled to shared parental leave after three months. Parents can also take up to four weeks of unpaid leave each year (in addition to their annual leave) until their children turn 18. 

Fold7 says a "soft landing" for all new parents is "a given" during the first month (or longer if needed) of the child’s arrival to help the family into their new routine. 

Work/life assistance support, including a confidential helpline, is offered through benefits provider Unum. The service offers practical advice on a range of topics, including health, family, money and work.

Goodstuff Communications

If staff have worked for the company for 26 weeks, they get 39 weeks paid at 100% of salary, followed by 13 weeks of unpaid leave.

When employees come back from maternity leave, Goodstuff offers return-to-work coaching as well as an early start or finish. The breakfast or bathtime bonus means new parents can come into work at 10am or leave at 5pm for the first six weeks without it affecting their pay.

Paternity leave is four weeks at full pay, including two weeks in a continuous block, with the remaining two weeks either altogether or in smaller blocks within six months of the birth.

M&C Saatchi London

Employees who have been at the agency for two years at the 15th week before the EWC are entitled to 20 weeks' fully paid maternity leave, followed by 13 weeks of statutory pay (and 13 weeks' unpaid leave). Employees who go on to take subsequent maternity leave must have returned for two years by the 15th week before the EWC to qualify for enhanced maternity leave for the next child.

Secondary carers who have worked at M&C Saatchi for two years at the 15th week before the EWC get two weeks of full pay, followed by 18 weeks of having one day off each week (working four days but being paid for five).

Mother

Mother pays staff with one to two years’ service 20 weeks maternity leave at full pay, followed by 19 weeks at SMP. After two years at the agency, employees get 19 weeks' maternity pay at their full salary, followed by eight weeks at half-pay and eight weeks at quarter-pay (and four weeks at SMP). 

The7stars

After one year’s continuous service, the7stars pays staff six weeks' maternity pay at their full salary, followed by 33 weeks at SMP. After two years at the agency, staff get 12 weeks of full pay and 27 weeks of SMP. Employees who have worked at the7stars for more than four years are paid 24 weeks of full pay and 15 weeks of SMP. 

Partners get two weeks’ paternity leave at full pay after one year, three weeks of full pay after two years and four weeks after four years.

VCCP

Staff who have worked at VCCP for a full year by the beginning of the 15th week before the EWC are entitled to 13 weeks' maternity pay at their full pay, followed by 26 weeks of SMP (and 13 weeks unpaid leave). After two years’ employment, staff receive 26 weeks at full pay, followed by 13 weeks of SMP. 

To qualify for four weeks' paid paternity, you must have worked at VCCP continuously for at least two years by the end of the 15th week before the EWC.

Wieden & Kennedy London

Employees receive 24 weeks of full pay for both maternity and shared parental leave after two years of service. W&K pays staff who have been at the agency for between 26 weeks and two years 12 weeks' full pay for both maternity and shared parental leave.

Other benefits include external maternity/paternity coaching for all parents, five days of paid dependant leave, a W&K parents group and a kids' Christmas party.

For the best and worst US parental leave policies, as of March 2019, click here.