August 10, 2016
New research questions how much demand exists in the UK for fathers to take shared parental leave. The first available figures reveals a low take-up of new rights to paid leave, as just 3,000 new parents took advantage of the system in the first three months of 2016 – one year on from its introduction. By contrast, approximately 52,000 fathers and 155,000 mothers took paternity and maternity leave in an equivalent time period in 2013/14. The figures were published as a result of a freedom of information request from law firm EMW who suggest that this shows that the new rules are being significantly under-utilised and policymakers need to give more consideration to what benefits future changes to employment law will actually deliver versus the impact on small businesses which have to implement them. The new Shared Parental Leave system allows parents to share paid time off between them, in place of (and at the same rate as) Statutory Maternity Pay.