Less than 20% happy with parental leave policies for dads

Paternity policy and shared parental leave come under the microscope in Working Dads’ newest poll, alongside mental health.



Fewer than one in five people think most organisations have good parental leave policies for dads, according to Working Dads’ latest survey.

The poll, sponsored by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), found that 34% of respondents thought most companies don’t.

This result might explain why more than half said being a parent has impacted their mental health, with a further 12.5% not sure if it had.

This demonstrates the need for employers to take parental policies for fathers seriously moving forward, or risk losing employees to firms that do, or to burnout.

We also asked about Shared Parental Leave (SLP) and the answers showed a real split. Sixty-nine per cent of our respondents had had a baby since 2015 and of that 69%, 34% said they’d taken SLP and 34% said they hadn’t. In fact, it was exactly the same number of answers for each answer.

The low figure echoes what appears to be a consistent trend in the UK for a low take-up of SPL. Samantha Dickinson, equality and diversity partner at Mayo Wynne Baxter, told HR Magazine last month that the financial set-up was not fit for purpose, meaning that most people can’t afford to take the full complement of 50 weeks with up to 37 weeks of statutory pay.

She said, “Government and businesses should look to Lithuania, Hungary and Iceland where both parents have generous leave and pay entitlements or to Sweden where both parents can divide 480 days of leave between themselves with 90 days off paid at 80% of their regular salary.”

She added that closing the gender pay gap would add to the feasibility of this kind of arrangement.

Meanwhile, it’s good to see that dads are pulling their weight at home. Forty-three per cent of those who have a partner say they share the childcare equally with just over 17% saying that they actually do more childcare than their partner.

Read more:

How remote work has changed employer wellbeing support

Our 2021 end-of-year survey tells us how you feel

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