67% concerned about complexities of shared parental leave

More than two-thirds (67%) of respondents are concerned about the potential complexities and increased administrative burden of the government’s incoming shared parental leave system, according to research by Norton Rose Fulbright.


The law firm’s research, which surveyed 222 HR professionals, found that 76% of respondents have not taken any practical steps to prepare for the new system, which will take effect from April 2015.

Almost half (46%) of respondents said they will only comply with their statutory obligations in respect of both shared parental pay and maternity pay.

Almost a third (30%) said they will not offer enhanced shared parental pay, but will continue to offer enhanced maternity pay.

The research also found: 

  • Just under 90% of respondents felt there would be a low level of take-up of shared parental leave.
  • Nearly half (48%) of respondents are concerned about the risk of fraud across two employers, because employers are not required to contact the employer of the other parent to make checks.
  • Despite this, more than half of respondents anticipate their organisation will talk to the other parent’s employer in order to discuss leave entitlements.

Paul Griffin, head of employment and labour, London at Norton Rose Fulbright, said: “The results of our survey show that the vast majority of respondents have not familiarised themselves with the new system or taken steps to prepare.

“Feedback highlighted that this is partly qualified by the small number of employees expected to take advantage of the new scheme.

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“Indeed, the government’s own estimations of the take up of the shared leave period is expected to be between only 2% and 8%. 

“With shared parental leave just around the corner, however, organisations should set in motion a plan of action to deal with the changes, sooner rather than later.”