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Fathers not opting for shared parental leave

BY Helen Donnelly
Employment Law & HR
BG Purple

Recent research has revealed that only 1% of male employees in the UK have taken Shared Parental Leave since its introduction a year ago. The research, carried out by the Women’s Business Council and My Family Care, indicated that most of the time decisions about which parent would take leave were based on financial circumstances and whether employers offered enhanced leave.

The survey also gave insight into how shared parental leave has changed (or not changed!) societal norms. Over half mothers questioned said they did not want to share their leave, and half of men thought taking leave was frowned upon. Across both sexes, most people shared this belief, with only 40% of those questioned agreeing that parental leave was encouraged by their employer. Interestingly, of the employers surveyed, almost half said that their policy was to offer enhanced pay. The government has vowed to evaluate the shared parental leave scheme by 2018.

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