A brand new publicity drive is aiming to encourage greater take-up of shared parental depart.
Round 285,000 are eligible yearly for shared parental depart, however take-up “might be as little as 2%”, the Division for Enterprise stated.
Round half of most of the people are nonetheless unaware the choice exists, almost three years after it was launched, the federal government stated.
It now plans to spend £1.5m to higher inform mother and father concerning the coverage.
Consultants say that in addition to a lack of expertise of what’s on provide, cultural obstacles and monetary penalties are deterring some mother and father from sharing parental depart.
‘Share the enjoyment’
The federal government’s campaign will encourage mother and father to “share the enjoyment” by internet marketing, social media and on billboards.
Enterprise minister Andrew Griffiths stated the coverage meant dads did not need to miss out on “their child’s first step, phrase or giggle”.
“Employers can reap the advantages too. We all know that flexibility in work is confirmed to create happier, extra loyal and extra productive workforces,” he stated.
What’s shared parental depart?
- Shared parental depart (SPL) was launched in April 2015
- It permits mother and father to share 50 weeks of depart and 37 weeks of pay after they’ve a child
- Mother and father can take day without work individually or may be at house collectively for as much as six months
- SPL is paid at £140.98 per week or 90% of your common earnings, whichever is decrease
Tom Markwell and Leila Reyburn, who work within the charity sector in London, stated shared parental depart supplied them higher flexibility.
After they’d their daughter, Pearl, in 2016, Leila took the primary 10 months off work to look after her. Tom then spent two months at house.
They are saying it gave Tom the possibility to bond extra carefully with Pearl, whereas Leila was capable of take up the chance for a promotion at work.
The federal government initially predicted between 2% and eight% of eligible would take SPL in the course of the first few years of the brand new coverage and says it nonetheless expects take-up to be inside that vary.
However a survey by Working Households, a charity that campaigns on work-life stability points, stated a survey it performed final yr instructed elevating consciousness was solely a part of the answer.
Why aren’t fathers taking it up?
Working Households chief govt Sarah Jackson stated some households couldn’t afford for fathers to take parental depart.
“Of these fathers who stated they would not use the scheme, greater than a 3rd stated this was as a result of they could not afford to,” she stated.
“These employers that may afford to ought to transcend the minimal pay for SPL.”
Many fathers had not been of their jobs lengthy sufficient to qualify for SPL, she added.
“If the Authorities is critical about equality at work and tackling the gender pay hole, it ought to contemplate additionally introducing a correctly paid, standalone interval of prolonged paternity depart for fathers.”
Research conducted by law firm EMW last year, based mostly on a Freedom of Data request, instructed solely eight,700 took benefit of the scheme between April 2016 and March 2017. EMW calculated that was 1% of eligible whereas the Division for Enterprise stated it was round three% of these eligible.
EMW instructed low take-up was partly as a result of cultural stigma for males of taking day without work work and considerations that they may come throughout as much less dedicated to their job in the event that they ask for depart.
The Division for Enterprise stated it was regular for the coverage to take a while to mattress in and that the scheme can be formally evaluated later this yr.
Revealed at Mon, 12 Feb 2018 00:05:43 +000zero