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Most future parents to consider shared leave

14 January 2015

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Shared parental leave (SPL) is something that 83% of future parents will consider taking.

A survey from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills showed that 75% of current fathers would have considered SPL had it been available when their children were born.

From April 2015, the new rules regarding SPL will allow parents to split 50 weeks and 37 weeks of leave between them in the child’s first year.

Jo Swinson, employment relations minister believes that this change will have a positive impact on employers.

She said “Parenting is a shared endeavour and couples want more flexibility when they are adapting to the demands of a new baby.

“Shared parental leave will let couples choose how to share their childcare responsibilities in whatever way works best for them, and enable both parents to spend time developing that vital bond with their baby in the early stages.”

Julie McCarthy, head of policy, research and communications at Working Families, said that unless employers offer an enhanced SPL rate –as many do currently for maternity leave –then the actual take-up rateis likely to be much lower.

“There are some big companies looking to have complete equality, giving new fathers the same rights as mothers,”she said. “Without the enhanced rate being applied, many families may find SPL unaffordable.”