43% believe taking shared parental leave would not make financial sense

Baby being held shared parental leave

More than two-fifths (43%) of respondents who are working mothers say they would not take shared parental leave because it would not make financial sense, according to research by Workingmums.co.uk.

Its annual survey, which polled 2,300 working mothers, also found that 59% of respondents feel that enhancing shared parental leave pay would not make a difference to their decision not to take up the benefit. Of those who feel that taking the time off would not make financial sense for them, 66% believe that enhancing shared parental pay would still not make a difference to their decision.

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The research also found:

  • 37% of respondents would consider taking shared parental leave.
  • 17% of respondents do not want to share their leave with their partner, 12% do not want to take up the option due to worries it would have a detrimental effect on their partner’s career, 11% do not know enough about shared parental leave to consider taking up the benefit, and 5% think the legislation is too complicated to consider taking shared parental leave.
  • 83% of respondents would take more leave than their partner if they took shared parental leave, and 15% said they would share the leave equally with their partner.

Gillian Nissim, founder at Workingmums.co.uk, said: “It is disappointing to see how low the take-up of shared parental leave has been. Part of the problem is no doubt the complexity of the legislation and lack of awareness. Finances clearly play a big role and generally there are concerns about the way the legislation is framed. At the moment, this is what we have to work with though and at the heart of the legislation is open, honest conversations between parents about what is best for every member of the family and what impact any decisions they take in the first months of their baby’s life might have in the future.”