Despite shared parental leave being introduced in 2015, only 2% of those couples eligible for the leave have chosen to use it. In a bid to boost take up, the government has launched a £1.5 million “Share the Joy” campaign.
Essentially, shared parental leave enables parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave between them or up to six months together. By encouraging flexible working, shared parental leave can contribute to a more productive workforce thereby increasing the chances of long-term retention of employees.
With take up so low, and only 25% of fathers aware of the leave, there’s still much that needs to be done to promote this right. One way employers can promote shared parental leave to their employees is by having a specific policy. We can assist you with drafting such a policy and advise on the practicalities of the shared parental leave programme.
The charity Working Families suggests that the leave can still be improved as they believe fathers should have the right to take the leave from day one, (as maternity leave is a right from day one for mothers), and that self-employed parents should be eligible for shared parental leave too. If any changes are made to the shared parental leave regulations in due course we will of course update you.