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Shared Parental Leave: The Statistics

Only 1% of eligible mothers and 5% of eligible fathers take Shared Parental Leave (SPL) according to a recent report issued by the Department of Business and Trade.  

SPL is a family-friendly right that allows eligible parents (both birth and adoptive) to split 50 weeks of leave in the year following the child’s birth or placement with an adoptive family. If eligible, parents can receive Shared Parental Pay (ShPP).

The low take-up figures are despite the fact that parents who have experienced SPL reported numerous advantages in their work-life balance including more flexibility and balancing child-minding arrangements. Generally, the report shows that the majority of employers are content with the policy and its operation however, 1 in 5 managers in larger organisations admitted that they found SPL difficult to manage.

The report highlights that numerous variables effect the uptake of SPL including age, income and occupational status and that parents that use SPL and/or receive ShPP were more likely to be highly qualified and working for large organisations with a progressive attitude towards genders.

Although the uptake of SPL appears to be low, it is currently in-line with the trajectory predicted on its implementation in 2015.