Shared parental leave: Government urged to overhaul system as figures show only 1% of parents use it

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Ony 1 per cent of recent dad and mom used shared parental leave final yr, in response to analysis, prompting requires an overhaul of the system.

Simply 9,200 new dad and mom took up shared go away in 2018 out of greater than 900,000 who had been eligible, the research discovered. Shared go away will not be obtainable for fathers in insecure jobs akin to zero-hour contracts or company work.

The TUC, which carried out the analysis, stated take-up remains to be so poor 4 years after the system was launched as a result of most fathers can not afford to stay off the £145 per week cost.


The union organisation is asking for paternity go away pay to be elevated to no less than minimal wage ranges, a transfer it stated might assist half 1,000,000 dads spend extra time with their new infants.

The TUC needs fathers to have their very own paternity go away, which might be obtainable to fathers from the primary day in a job, together with these on zero-hour contracts and in self-employed roles.

TUC normal secretary Frances O’Grady stated: “Shared parental leave wants overhauling. It’s not an inexpensive choice for many working households.

“With out higher rights to well-paid go away, many new dad and mom will proceed to overlook out on spending time with their youngsters, and mums will proceed to tackle the lion’s share of caring obligations.

“If ministers are critical about getting males extra concerned after their youngster is born, they need to give all dads longer, better-paid paternity go away.

“Dads want go away they’ll soak up their very own proper. It shouldn’t depend on mums giving up a few of their maternity go away.”

Some corporations provide extra beneficiant shared parental go away funds. Drinks-maker Diageo introduced this week its 4,500 UK workers could be entitled to 52 weeks of parental go away with the primary 26 weeks totally paid.

Staff retain all of their advantages and bonuses no matter gender, sexual orientation or whether or not they develop into dad and mom biologically, by way of surrogacy or adoption.

Mairéad Nayager, chief HR officer at Diageo, stated: “True gender equality within the working world requires basic modifications to a broad vary of working practices, together with a shake-up of the insurance policies and cultural norms round parental go away.”

How shared parental go away works

New dad and mom can share as much as 50 weeks of go away and as much as 37 weeks of pay.

Pay and go away have to be shared within the first yr after the kid is born or positioned with the household.

Shared parental go away could be taken in blocks separated by durations of labor, or multi function go. Mother and father also can select to be off work collectively or to stagger the go away and pay.

Mother and father obtain £145.18 per week or 90 per cent of common weekly earnings, whichever is decrease.

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