18 September 2017
Significantly low uptake of shared parental leave
Expected uptake of shared parental leave (SPL) has been significantly slower than expected, according to a study.
New figures for the last 12 months show fewer than 1% of eligible mothers and fathers have taken advantage of the new rules.
The scheme has been in place since April 2015, and is aimed at p ropelling more women through the glass ceiling and encouraging a new era of at-home dads.
Under the rules, workers may be able to share 50 weeks of SPL and 37 weeks of Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) if they've had a baby or have adopted a child.
In 2016, the government estimated between 2% and 8% of 285,000 eligible couples would participate in the scheme.
However, the option is being significantly underused with less than half the lower estimating taking up the offer.
Figures show a total of 8,700 new parents have shared up to 50 weeks off, compared with 661,000 mums and 221,000 fathers who took maternity and paternity leave during the same period.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said: "The policy was only introduced in 2015 and we cannot expect to see a culture change overnight, but clearly we want more families to take advantage of the extra flexibility this scheme provides."