CIPP response to BEIS consultation on parental leave and pay

29 November 2019

The CIPP has submitted its response to BEIS’s consultation document – Parental Leave and Pay: Supporting parents and achieving quality.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) wanted to gather feedback on the topic of parental leave and pay, and how to further parity between the genders could be achieved so that both mothers and fathers could care for and build strong bonds with their children. This would, in turn, hopefully, remove some of the gender stereotypes attached to the allocation of childcare duties within contemporary society.

The theory is that by reforming parental leave and pay in a way that allows individuals to combine their work-life with childcare not only benefits individuals but also helps employers by giving them access to a wider talent pool and allowing them to retain hardworking members of staff who may wish to start a family or who plan to add to their existing family. Addressing current policies surrounding parental leave and pay may also have a positive impact on wider issues such as the gender pay gap.

Our response provided a summary of both quantitative and qualitative results taken from our electronic survey gathering responses from CIPP members and other payroll tax professionals to the consultation questions.

Key findings

  • Policies and processes for Paternity Leave and Pay are confusing
  • The Shared Parental Leave and Pay rules are complex
  • Family characteristics should not restrict access to Shared Parental Leave and Pay
  • Awareness of Parental Leave and Pay is low
  • There is a general support for reforming Parental Leave and Pay, but this should be measured and include full consultation along the way.

The response document goes into much further detail surrounding the information gathered from respondents.

Conclusion

The responses to this survey reveal that the complexity of policies and rules can act as a barrier for both the employer and employee. The evidence in this research suggests that not all employers are signposting their employees to the statutory entitlements available to them. There is strong support for change to the existing Parental Leave and Pay policies, with enhancements suggested for the pay elements.

CIPP comment

The CIPP encourages BEIS to continue engaging and involving stakeholders as it explores ways in which these issues can be resolved.