Survey Reveals Changing Perceptions With Shared Parental Leave

Law Firms Calls For Businesses To Adapt To New Laws

13.01.2015

David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

The majority of adults believe mums and dads should be equally‎ responsible for childcare, says a new Government report.

The survey, commissioned by the Business Department, found that‎ more than half (53%) said that childcare should be the equal responsibility for both parents, with a further fifth (22%) saying it should be down to each couple to decide how to share caring responsibilities.

Coming in a year when new parents will be able to share leave following the birth of their child, two thirds of those surveyed said that they would have considered sharing parental leave had it been available to them at the time.

Four in five of those considering having children in the future said‎ they would consider taking shared leave.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "This Edwardian notion that women should stay at home while men go out and support the family has simply no place in this day and age. We need a modern Britain and a fair society that works for families, not against them.

"We know that mums and dads want more flexibility and choice when it comes to juggling their home and work lives and we're listening and taking action."

Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson said: "This survey shows people are rejecting dated stereotypes about the roles of men and women. Parenting is a shared endeavour and couples want more flexibility when they are adapting to the demands of a new baby."

Glenn Hayes, an Employment Partner at national law firm, Irwin Mitchell, said:

Expert Opinion
The results of this survey serve as a timely reminder that businesses need to adapt quickly to the new shared parental leave laws. Although employees have been able to make these requests for over a month now, our research shows that 22% of senior managers still know nothing about the changes.

"Almost a third think that the additional rights for parental leave could create difficulties and extra work with just 17% saying that they will be able to introduce the changes easily. The demand amongst employees looks to be there and it is vital that employers deal with requests in the correct way and avoid costly discrimination claims.”
Glenn Hayes, Partner