04 Dec 2017
Nearly half of men feel there is a societal stigma attached to taking shared parental leave and that it’s not the ‘done thing’ for males to do.
But the new research by TSB bank also found that two-thirds of men would consider taking shared parental leave if they were to have another child.
The study looked into the views and opinions of 2,000 people on shared parental leave, which revealed that more than a third of people had not heard of the scheme. Over half of Britons believe it’s very important for new fathers to have time off work with their new-born. Those aged between 18 and 24 felt most strongly about this (71%), compared with people over 55 years (43%).
Of those parents who have taken shared parental leave, the main reason they chose to do so was to have time at home to bond with their new baby (38%). A third of people made the decision because it made financial sense as their partner earned more money (33%).
Among those to have taken shared parental leave is Andy Piggott, head of credit cards at TSB.
He said: "I took two months’ shared parental leave last year when my daughter, Clara, was about 10 months old. It wasn’t an easy decision to take the leave - on the one hand I was obviously keen to spend more quality time with my daughter and help out with the childcare. On the other, I was a worried about taking two months out of the office.
“I’m so glad I decided to take the leave. Everyone, both inside and outside of work, was really supportive. It was an excellent experience for me - and my daughter survived extended daddy time! Ultimately it’s helped me take a broader perspective on things in work as well.”
The UK Government says you may be able to get shared parental leave (SPL) and statutory shared parental pay (ShPP) if you’re having a baby or adopting a child. If you’re eligible for SPL, you can use it to take leave in blocks separated by periods of work instead of taking it all in one go.
To start SPL or ShPP, the mother must end her maternity leave (for SPL) or her maternity allowance or maternity pay (for ShPP). If she doesn’t get maternity leave (but she ends her maternity allowance or pay early) her partner might still get SPL.
If you’re adopting, then you or your partner must end any adoption leave or adoption pay early instead.