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Shared parental leave: public attitudes

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Part of: Making the labour market more flexible, efficient and fair
Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
Publication Date: 
13 Jan 2015


From the press release:

More than half of the UK believes
that childcare should be shared equally between parents, a survey by the
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has found.

findings show a marked move away from the old attitude that the bulk of
childcare responsibilities should be borne by the mother. Some 53% of those
questioned said that childcare should be the equal responsibility of both
parents while a further 22% believe that a couple should have the right to
choose how they divide caring responsibilities, depending on their

Just under
a quarter of those surveyed believe that childcare should be the mother’s main
responsibility, with more than half of men thinking that childcare should be
shared equally, compared to 50% of women.

The research was carried out ahead of the introduction of Shared Parental Leave (SPL),
which will apply to parents of babies born or adopted from 5 April 2015. The
new rules mean that parents can split 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay
between them in the baby’s first year. SPL also
lets parents suggest a flexible pattern of leave to their employer and allows
for up to 3 separate blocks of leave, but employers can agree to more.

parents were questioned, two-thirds said that they would have considered
sharing parental leave if it had been available at the time. This was higher
amongst fathers, of whom three-quarters said they would have considered it
compared with 63% of women.




For those considering having
children in the future, 4 in 5 said they would consider taking Shared Parental Leave when they became



Entered Date: 
14 Jan 2015
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