Take up of shared parental leave is held back by cultural inertia

A recent report by the House of Commons’ Women and Equalities Committee, Fathers and the workplace, has brought into sharp focus the problems fathers have juggling participation in family life with their employment obligations. We are moving away from the traditional gender stereotypes of the father being the breadwinner and the mother being responsible for childcare. Today, many families have two parents in either full or part-time work, with dual income households being far more common now than just 30 years ago. The pace of technological change and the growing gig economy have both contributed significantly to this shift in working patterns. As a result, some of the UK’s laws are becoming outdated, as many laws were formulated on the assumption that it would usually be the woman within a family who would have responsibility for childcare.

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