63% of FTSE 100 staff interested in shared parental leave

Just under two-thirds (63%) of respondents are interested or very interested in taking up shared parental leave when it comes into effect from 1 December, according to research by law firm Linklaters. 

father and baby

The legislation will enable eligible parents to share a period of their maternity or adoption leave with their partner, including sharing statutory pay. The government had predicted take-up rates of between 2%-6%.

The research, which surveyed 250 FTSE-100 workers who have become parents in the last two years or will do so in the next six months, also found that men and women have similar levels of interest in shared parental leave, at 62% and 63% respectively.

The top three factors chosen by male and female staff as the most attractive advantages of the right were: an opportunity for the father to spend more time with the child, the opportunity for the father to share childcare duties enabling the mother to return to work during the child’s first year, and sharing childcare responsibilities by taking leave at the same time.

The research also found that:

  • 76% of those interested in taking up shared parental leave said that the entitlement to additional pay would be relevant or very relevant when deciding whether to take up the right.
  • Just over 70% of respondents interested in the right said that no or insufficient pay during shared parental leave would influence them not to take up the right.
  • 62% of both male and female respondents said that concerns about how taking up shared parental leave could be perceived by management and potential damage to their career prospects were factors that would influence them not to take up the right.
  • 50% of male respondents said they would be influenced against taking shared parental leave if other men in their organisation opted not to.
  • Just 3% of female and 5% of male respondents believe that shared parental leave would not offer any advantages to them.

Simon Kerr-Davis, senior employment lawyer at Linklaters, said: “There are three clear benefits for businesses from our research.

”First, there is an obvious appetite among parents for shared parental leave.

”Second, enhanced pay is likely to be a determining factor on eventual uptake, and third, employers have a key role to play in the value of shared parental leave to employees.

“Even now, we know that many employers are still unsure how to make this decision.”