Half of fathers would use shared parental leave

05 April 2017


Shared parental leave should be a day one right and pay should be equal to statutory maternity pay, says Chief Executive of Working Families.


To mark the second anniversary of shared parental leave, a survey by Working Families found that 52% of fathers would make use of the scheme.

Over 300 fathers took part in the Working Families survey and of the half who said they would use shared parental leave, the main reasons given were to spend time bonding with their new child, and because they and their partner want to share care.

Of those fathers who said they wouldn’t use the scheme, more than a third said this was because they couldn’t afford to. A quarter of fathers didn’t know about Shared Parental Leave.


Sarah Jackson OBE, Chief Executive of Working Families, said:

“…As we embark on EU exit negotiations the government has said it wants to protect and enhance the rights people have at work. An excellent place to start would be making SPL a day one right for fathers.

…But families are unlikely to make use of SPL unless it makes financial sense for them to do so. The government should consider equalising statutory maternity pay and shared parental pay.”


To help increase awareness of SPL, Working Families has worked with Alliance Manchester Business School, Lancaster University School of Management and the Fatherhood Institute to create a new video case book showing the first-hand experiences of parents who have used the scheme.


Dr Emma Banister, Senior Lecturer in Consumer Research at Alliance Manchester Business School, said:

“Many employers don’t have the resources to be able to provide dedicated information to their employees. And so working parents can find it difficult to work out the options available to them.

“These new films let parents and employers hear the honest, lived experiences – both positive and negative – of those who have used SPL. They’re freely available to everyone and we hope they can help bridge the gap in knowledge of the scheme.”