Our latest research shows that almost a third of men (30%) would not consider sharing parental leave more equally with their partner once the government’s new scheme becomes available next year. Of those, 45% said this was because paternity pay was too low.
Overall, if pay was not an issue, 44% of men would prefer to have flexible working hours the year after their child is born, rather than taking shared parental leave. Just 14% chose shared parental leave.
However, 60% of men said were not previously aware that they were entitled to request flexible working from their employers.
76% of men surveyed said they would be more inclined to make use of shared parental leave if it were on a part-time basis. [i]
Belinda Phipps, NCT, CEO said:
“These findings show that low paternity pay is preventing men taking time out to help look after their new baby. And while a lot of men are looking for flexible working, over half are unaware that they are even entitled to request flexible working hours from their employer.
“Staying at home to bring up children makes a valuable contribution to society and it’s time the government took this seriously and supported fathers properly. We would like to see increase paternity pay so it is at least at the same level as the full-time minimum wage, and we need to raise awareness on flexible working opportunities.”
"NCT would also like the government to reconsider introducing part-time shared leave as part of their shared parental leave scheme as this would clearly make it more attractive to parents."
The charity has put a template letter on its website for parents to request more flexible working hours from their employers. The letter (normal RRP £19.99) is free and sits alongside other useful information about work and childcare and maternity / paternity leave and pay.
Notes to Editors
About the survey:
Survation interviewed 2,112 men and women in the United Kingdom: 1095 new parents with children under five, and 1017 men and women under the age of 45 who do not currently have children under the age of five, from 14th - 24th April 2014, on behalf of the NCT. Survation is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. A copy of the report is available on request.
[i]Part-time basis - sharing part-time work together with your partner for the first six or three months. This could mean one partner working two days a week and the other partner working three days a week for the first six months after your child is born.