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UK Parents Reveal Attitudes to Shared Parental Leave

For the first time in the UK, legislation states that employers have to offer men the opportunity to share parental leave with their partners for babies born on or after the 1st April 2015.

However, new research released today from Glassdoor reveals that the new legislation could be a bit of damp squib with fewer than one in four (23 percent) men surveyed agreeing that new parents should share parental leave. This sentiment rises slightly to 31 percent amongst millennials (18-24 year olds) and falls to 21 percent for the over 45’s.

The research, which was carried out amongst 2,000 employed men and women in the UK aged 50 or below, also revealed that 42 percent of men claim they would take minimum paternity leave in the event of their partner having a baby. Just over one in ten (12 percent) would currently take the maximum paternity leave while their partner took minimum maternity leave and returned to work.

Despite a potential low level of take up from prospective dads, further research reveals it will cost employers £17.1 million in the first year alone. This assessment was based on every employer offering statutory shared parental leave and pay which equates to £138.18 a week or 90 percent of the dad’s salary, whichever is lower. However, further research suggests that most organisations that offer an enhanced maternity pay will also offer this enhanced pay to men taking shared parental leave. Three out of four organisations have already said they will do this.

The Glassdoor research also explores attitudes towards couples taking the maximum amount of time off possible with their new baby. Just over one in ten (13 percent) men claim that both they and their partner would do this in the event of a new arrival. For both men and women, this sentiment is highest (16 percent) amongst those who each earn between £40,000 to £50,000 a year. Sadly, for 6 percent of UK couples, taking anything off other than the minimum maternity and paternity leave is their only option as they simply can’t afford the other options.

Glassdoor’s recent addition of our Benefits Review service will be invaluable for men in the workplace that want to find out about parental leave benefits benefits offered by existing and potential employers. Through our free online benefits review survey, you can rate how satisfied you are with your employer’s overall benefits package and describe the best and worst aspects of the package.  You can indicate what benefits and perks your employer specifically offers, including:

  • Health and wellness (e.g. health and dental insurance)
  • Financial planning and retirement (e.g. pension plans, Sharesave schemes)
  • Family and parenting (e.g. maternity leave, childcare vouchers)
  • Annual leave and time off (e.g. holiday pay, sabbaticals)
  • Various perks (e.g. free lunches, company car, employee discounts).

This means that next time you’re meeting potential employers, you can look up their benefits package on Glassdoor before you attend the intereview.