HR · 12 February 2018

Shared parental leave promoted to couples in new government campaign

Eligible parents can share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay
Britain’s new parents have been encouraged to take up shared parental leave in their baby’s first year, as a new government campaign highlights the benefits of sharing childcare.

As part of a plan to raise awareness of employment rights across the UK economy, the ‘share the joy? campaign aims to show parents how they can share childcare duties whilst maintaining their careers.

Around 285, 000 couples currently qualify for shared parental leave in the UK every year yet take up of the initiative’s benefits could be as low as two per cent.

According to government data, around half of the general public arent even aware couples have the option of shared parental leave.

Read more:?An employer’s guide to shared parental leave and pay

Under shared parental leave rules, eligible parents can share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay after having a baby. Either parent can take time off separately or be off together for a period of up to six months after their baby is born.

The Share the joy campaign sees the government promise to launch a new website, providing detailed information and guidance on shared parental leave. New parents will also be reached via digital marketing and social media, as well as advertising on public transport.

Commenting on the campaign, small business minister Andrew Griffiths claimed that shared parental leave had benefits for employers as well as working parents.

He said: We know that flexibility in work is proven to create happier, more loyal and more productive workforces.

‘shared parental leave gives choice to families. Dads and partners don’t have to miss out on their baby’s first step, word or giggle they can share the childcare, and share the joy.

Introduced in 2015, shared parental leave was aimed at offering choice and flexibility around work to new parents, enabling mothers to return to work sooner if they wished to.



Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.