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Global parental leave policy

1. Purpose of policy

Reckitt believes our gender and inclusion policies will enable us to create a winning and inclusive culture and deliver outperformance. These game changing enhancements in both maternity and paternity pay will contribute to our people having healthier lives and happier homes.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure a standard minimum level of support is provided globally for employees planning to take either maternity or paternity leave and is applicable with immediate effect.

Parental leave provisions are complex and differ from country to country. In some instances the parental leave or pay specified in this document will be less than local provisions, in which case the more generous set of provisions will apply. For the avoidance of doubt, the provisions in this policy or the local policy will apply. If an employee becomes pregnant, she should clarify the relevant entitlements and procedures with her local HR contact to ensure that they are followed and implemented correctly.

2. Maternity leave

Fully paid maternity leave will increase from 161 weeks to 26 weeks2. This is regardless of the number of hours an employee works, but provided they have been in continuous employment at Reckitt for 12 months.

The starting time for maternity leave will differ slightly by country legislation but at a minimum, will start the day after the employee gives birth.

The first 16 weeks must be taken immediately following the birth of the child, or earlier if local legislation mandates. The additional 10 weeks may be taken at any time up to the child’s first birthday.

Employees are entitled to take a further 26 weeks’ unpaid maternity leave during which time their employment is protected and they will be returned to a job of similar status and pay.

3. Premature birth provision

If the child’s birth is premature, defined as being born before the start of the 37th week of pregnancy, the number of paid weeks maternity leave will be increased by the number of full weeks between the date of birth and the 37th.

The number of weeks paternity leave will be increased as above up to a maximum of an additional 4 weeks paid leave.

4. Paternity leave

Employees are entitled to take 20 working days paid paternity leave after the birth of their child. The leave may be taken at any time before the child’s first birthday and it does not have to be taken all at once.

Employees are also entitled to take a further 20 working days unpaid paternity leave in the first year of the child’s birth.

5. Adoption or surrogacy leave

Following the placement of a child with an employee in connection with adoption, the maternity and paternity leave provisions stated in this policy apply.

6. LGBTQ+ parents

Reckitt recognises equal rights for all intended parents. The same rules for maternity and paternity leave apply to LGBTQ+ employees who are intended parents.

7. Stay in touch programme

Except where prohibited by local legislation, an employee on maternity leave can choose to participate in a Stay in Touch program. Employees who wish to participate should contact local HR for further details.

8. Returning to work mentor

On returning to work, should the employee wish to be matched with a mentor, then a mentor will be arranged by the local HR team. This will be a mentor who has in recent times returned from maternity leave back into the workplace. The mentoring program will last for six months. Employees who wish to participate should contact local HR for further details.

9. Nursing mothers

Reckitt supports the WHO Code recommendation for exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life and encourage continued breastfeeding for up to two years and beyond. We support the introduction of safe and appropriate Complementary Foods from six months of age. We commit to actively support breastfeeding for all families and we will work across our supply chain, with our partners, employees and consumers to promote the best start in life and optimal nutrition for the first 1000 days.

Reckitt will provide all nursing mothers with a private wellness space to express milk as well as access to a free breast pump if required.

This policy does not form part of any employee's contract of employment and it may be amended or withdrawn at any time.


1 In 2015, Reckitt was one of the leading companies in providing a global minimum standard maternity policy at 16 weeks.
2 The increase to 26 weeks puts Reckitt in the top tier of all FMCG companies and we remain committed to being a leading company in parental leave provision.

Parental leave policy (full PDF)

Parental leave policy (full PDF) Download PDF