• Press
  • December 17, 2021
  • Jonas Hemmingsen

To create an optimal framework for a sustainable family and work life, GroupM sets the bar high with its new family policy. This means, among other things, that, from November onwards, all of GroupM Danmark’s employees will have the same maternity/paternity conditions, regardless of gender, family constellation or affiliation with the child.

In the video, our colleagues Christina Zacho, Tau Rosenberg, Anne Born and Jesper Jørgensen, talks about our ambitious family policy 

The vision behind the new family policy is to create a maternity/paternity journey that is uniform and transparent for all employees. The groundbreaking family policy has three particular challenges to overcome:

  1. All types of parents and families must be offered the same conditions.
  2. Men and women must be guaranteed the same pension,
  3. And finally, Mothers and fathers should be offered a better transition when they return to work after taking maternity or paternity leave.

The new initiatives are very different to the industry conditions in general.

“Our industry has not exactly been at the forefront when it comes to maternity or paternity conditions and family policy. Doing away with this is radical, and hopefully we are setting a new standard for the entire industry. We are removing the outdated notions of family constellations and are creating uniformity across biology, social relationships and gender. We are also eliminating the negative consequences for women on maternity leave. This applies, for example, to lower pension savings and a poor balance between work and private life,” says GroupM CEO Jonas Hemmingsen.

A lot of new parents tend to change jobs not long after the birth of a child. Being better at taking into account the individual’s life stages and different family constellations, GroupM will contribute to a more sustainable working life, and thereby both retain existing employees and attract new skilled ones.

With the new regulations, all types of parents and families will be given the same fair and equal terms. This applies regardless of whether they are LGBTQI+ parents, adoptive parents or parents who do not live with their child on a day-to-day basis.

The new regulations also include pension terms. Under the new scheme, full pensions are now paid during the entire maternity/paternity period. Thus, GroupM solves the fundamental problem that women on average have 24% less pension savings than men (Danica Pension, 8 March 2021).

“Even though our elected representatives try to create equality during the maternity or paternity period, it’s still mainly women who take maternity leave. Today, the minimum requirement is being paid a pension while you’re working, which means women often have fewer pension savings. We don’t interfere with the decision about who takes maternity or paternity leave, but with our new regulations we can ensure that women get the same financial benefits as men,” says Jonas Hemmingsen.

Finally, the new terms should make it easier for parents to return to work after taking maternity/paternity leave. It is all about offering a better balance between family life and working life. At GroupM, we experience way too often that parents leave the company again all too soon after their maternity/paternity leave has ended. An internal investigation shows that the dropout rate, among other things, is due to a lack of flexible working hours, poor onboarding processes after returning to work, etc.

“With the addition of a new family member, a lot of people may need to stay at home more after the birth or perhaps just need a more flexible workday. Therefore, a lot of people can benefit from not having to return to a full work week after their maternity or paternity leave has ended. Studies also show that parents are typically much more efficient and productive at work when they return from maternity or paternity leave, so we are convinced that it can also be financially viable,” says Jonas Hemmingsen.

According to the GroupM regulations, the first maternity/paternity leave taker can work reduced hours (30 hours) for up to 14 weeks and the second maternity/paternity leave taker can work reduced hours for up to 7 weeks with full pay after the end of their maternity/paternity leave. That way, parents and children can get used to their new lives more easily without having to worry about finances.


GroupM Danmark’s new family policy

  • Gender neutrality: Gender is irrelevant. Someone on maternity/paternity leave is either a “first maternity/paternity leave taker” or a “second maternity/paternity leave taker”.
  • Diversity: The conditions apply to all kinds of families with constellations that differ from a mother and a father and their own children.
  • Equal rights for adopters: Adopters have the same rights as biological parents (with the same conditions).
  • 4 weeks maternity/paternity leave immediately after the child’s birth for the second maternity/paternity leave taker. The norm is 2 weeks.
  • Paid pension during the entire maternity/paternity leave, both when they receive full pay and when the maternity/paternity leave taker is receiving maternity/paternity benefits. The norm is pension paid only while they are working.
  • Reduced hours after maternity/paternity leave has ended with full pay during this period.
  • Care days with full pay for everyone.
  • Bereavement leave with full pay. The norm is the unemployment benefit rate during the leave period.
  • GroupM also offers maternity/paternity networks within the company as well as several family events, special office furniture, focus rooms, etc.