Business Law & Compliance

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Shared Parental Leave: Low level of up take from prospective dads

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Shared parental leave has become a statutory obligation for employers since 1 December for children born on or before 1 April 2015. 

It will cost employers £17.1m in the first year alone with an estimated 285,000 new parents eligible for it, suggests Glassdoor research. This assessment was based on every employer offering statutory shared parental leave and pay, which equates to £138.18 a week or 90 per cent of the dad’s salary. 

However, further research suggests that most organisations that offer an enhanced maternity pay will also offer this enhanced pay to men taking shared parental leave. Already, three out of four employers have said they will mirror the pay currently offered to mothers to both men and women.

But there has been a low level of take up from prospective dads. 

It was revealed that 42 per cent of men would take minimum paternity leave in the event of their partner having a baby, with only 12 per cent claiming they would currently take the maximum paternity leave while their partner took minimum maternity leave and returned to work.

The research also explores attitudes towards couples taking the maximum amount of time off possible with their new baby. Although, more than one in ten men claim both they and their partner would do this in the event of a new arrival, this sentiment is highest among those who each earn between £40,000 to £50,000 a year. 

Almost one in five of those on low salaries (£5,000 – £10,000) are most likely to make a decision around who stays at home by selecting the partner that earns the least money. Only seven per cent of men concede that their partner earns more money than they do so they plan to buck the trend and be a stay at home dad while mum goes back to work. 

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