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UK Dads Not Using Their Shared Parental Leave

This week it has been announced that a brand-new study has discovered that male parents in Britain are failing to take advantage of their entitled parental leave.

Back in 2015, a law was passed that meant that employers must provide new parents with the opportunity to share up to 50 weeks in total of leave and 27 weeks of statutory pay between them.

Since this law came into fruition however, the new study has revealed that 661,000 mothers took maternity and paternity leave, with just 221,000 dad’s doing the same. This means that less than 1% took up the chance of shared parental leave.

The published statistics shine light on the how shared leave is being massively underutilised and how outdated opinions about men taking time off to mind children still exist. The study investigators wrote: ‘In many cases new parents, particularly fathers, could be concerned about the impact on their career if they take lengthy time off… The fast pace of change in the workplace could mean that staff feel they can fall behind in their career just by taking a few months off.'

Investigators also went on to state that the newness of the legal change may account for the current levels of participation. In addition, it could be due to monetary reasons. The fact that those couples who decide to embark on the shared parental leave will only be entitled to get 90% of their salary could be a strong contributing factor as to why uptake hasn’t been as significant. Often parents find that they need at least one or both of their full salaries in order to financial support their new family.

Currently within the UK for a person to be eligible for shared leave a parent must share responsibility for a child with one of the following:

• Your husband, wife, civil partner or joint adopter
• The child's other parent
• Your partner (if they live with you and the child)

Furthermore, any employee that this applies to must have been in continuous employment for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date and remain with the same employer during the shared leave. Parents can even book up to three separate blocks of leave instead of taking it all in one go, even if they aren't sharing the leave with a partner.

When you think about the fact only 12 per cent of all workers in the US have access to paid parental leave, the study reveals a peculiar finding as to why Brits aren’t getting on board with their legal le ...

News Release: UK Dads Not Using Their Shared Parental Leave
Submitted on: September 19, 2017 03:04:30 PM
Submitted by: Veronica
On behalf of: