We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. Read More Allow Cookies

Molson Coors launch equal parent leave policy in Ireland

Posted on: 25 Mar 2024

Molson Coors Beverage Company, the brewer of major beer brands including Coors, Carling and Madrí Excepcional has announced a new Irish Equal Parent Leave Policy which will entitle all new parents to up to 52 weeks of leave regardless of gender or path to parenthood.


Phased return to work policies


All new parents will be offered up to 52 weeks of leave, 26 of which are fully paid, and a further 12 weeks fully paid for neonatal care, if needed. In addition, new parents will qualify for up to 10 paid days, known as ‘keeping in touch days’, as well as paid antenatal appointments. 


New parents that choose to take more than 26 weeks leave will qualify for a phased return to work for the first four weeks, working 80% of their hours while receiving 100% of their pay.


Removing the principle of primary and secondary carers


Molson Coors Beverage Company employs more than 2,200 people across the UK and Ireland including at the Franciscan Well Brewery in Cork. By introducing the new policy to enhance parental leave for all employees irrespective of gender, it is aiming to kick-out the ‘secondary carer’ label often given to those that can’t take more time away from the workplace.


Molson Coors is one of the very few employers in Ireland to offer some form of gender-neutral parent leave that removes the principle of a primary and secondary carer. It is particularly rare amongst manufacturing companies, such as Molson Coors, which tend to have significantly higher numbers of men in their workforce.


Laura Lee, Managing Director, Ireland at Molson Coors Beverage Company, said:


“As leading employer in Ireland, we’re always looking at ways to drive for more gender diversity at every level of our business, and to create a more inclusive and equitable work experience for everyone. Our new Equal Parent Leave policy is a really important next step to achieving those ambitions.


“At its most simple and powerful level, Equal Parent Leave recognises that parents should be able to choose how to care for their young children. One parent taking on the lion’s share of caring for children may be the right thing to do for many families, but we want it to be a choice – a positive choice that isn’t based on gender stereotypes or having to decide who is the primary or secondary carer.


“As a business that is part of a typically male-dominated industry, we have an opportunity to help breakdown those stereotypes and help to challenge the ‘secondary carer’ label -which is often taken on by new fathers. We want to make it easier for fathers to be able to take more time away from work as a new parent, because we know that by doing that, we are also helping to give mother’s more choice and families the opportunity to start that parenting journey on a more equal footing.”


Commenting on the new policy, Tommy Elliott, a Mayo-based customer development executive at Molson Coors and dad to two young children, said: “I’ve been through those early years as a parent in that ‘secondary carer’ box so I know just how much this new policy will help new dads and parents. It gives parents a choice to do what fits best for the family.


“From a work perspective, it takes the pressure off by having the flexibility to take the time you need to support your partner in those precious early weeks and months. It can be a big worry coming back to work after a couple of weeks and leaving your partner at home, so having the ability to take more of an equal role also helps from a mental health and wellbeing perspective.”


The new policy is the latest step in Molson Coors’ ambition to become a more inclusive employer, following its decision last year to scrap CVs for certain roles to encourage a more diverse range of applicants. In 2019 the brewer also launched ‘life leave’, giving employees an extra two weeks of annual leave that they can use for significant life moments like moving house or helping to settle a loved one into a new caring arrangement.