Help make Shared Parental Leave easier for dads

Manchester academic is looking for anyone who has either taken Shared Parental Leave or just thought about it for research project

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If you’ve taken Shared Parental Leave (SPL), or even if you’ve only thought about it, you could help a new academic research project.

Jamie Atkinson at Manchester Metropolitan University is looking into how easy it is to take SPL.

So he wants to speak to men who’ve been on SPL since it was introduced but also those who want to take SPL but who have been put off or decided against it.

If he can analyse the barriers to using SPL then the hope is that he and his team can come up with proposals to make it easier to use SPL and get more people using it.

Potential to drive change

Jamie, a senior law lecturer at the university, explained, “What I see in SPL is potential. It’s a flawed policy in many ways but is has the potential to drive change.”

He added, “The research project is looking into how individual organisations have promoted and implemented SPL and how employed fathers have found the experience of requesting SPL. I want to interview fathers who work in the private sector and who are on SPL at the moment or have taken a period of SPL since 2016. As the research focuses on fathers’ experience of the request process, there is no minimum period of SPL that they must have taken.”

He particularly wants to anyone working for a small or medium sized business to get an idea of how the policy works in a setting where there isn’t necessarily significant HR support and flexibility may seem limited.

He’s already carried out a number of interviews. “Generally speaking the dads that have used SPL have had a good experience,” he says.

The project is part of a wider focus Jamie has on men and fathers in the workplace. He is part of the team that produced a huge international comparison of what leave mums and dads are entitled to this week.

If you can help with the project you can contact Jamie via Twitter here or contact workingdads and we’ll pass on your details.

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