Shared Parental Leave not delivering for new fathers
The authors of the report talked to employer organisations, unions, researchers, think-tanks and experts, and fathers and mothers themselves, and stated: “The current policies supporting fathers in the workplace do not deliver what they promise, despite good intentions. This is particularly the case for less well-off fathers.
“The right to request flexible working has not created the necessary cultural change in the workplace and the government itself told us that its Shared Parental Leave policy, intended to allow fathers to share care in their child’s first year, will not meet its objective for most fathers.”
Shared Parental Leave figures obtained by YourMoney.com via a Freedom of Information request to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) showed that in 2016/17, employers claimed Statutory Shared Parental Pay in respect of around 8,700 parents. This is in spite of research from the charity Working Families showing over half of young fathers would rather downshift at work to accommodate family life.
In 2015/16 HM Revenue & Customs received claims for a total of around 6,200 parents for either the Statutory Shared Parental Pay or Statutory Additional Paternity Pay (HMRC records don’t distinguish between the two).
The report made a number of recommendations to ensure that the rules are working to create a more equal playing field for parents: