It seems Shared Parental Leave, introduced back in April 2015, isn’t working….latest figures estimate only a 2% take-up rate.
Why isn’t it working?
Some say it’s due to a number of factors: lack of understanding of what is on offer, cultural barriers and financial concerns.
What are the benefits?
Business Minister Andrew Griffiths doesn’t want dads to miss out, explaining the real benefits for employers of offering greater flexibility: a happier, more loyal and productive workforce.
Aviva has already recognised this and allows all new parents the same amount of paid leave after the birth of a child. They are trying to change perceptions and encourage a cultural change.
Society has changed, with many fathers playing (and wanting to play) a greater and more active part in their children’s upbringing. However, they are prevented from doing this due to outdated policies that offer minimal time and minimal pay. Negative perceptions still exist in the workplace about a father wanting to take time off with their child.
In the below article from The Independent, chief executive Sam Smethers says that current policies are ‘stuck in a 1950s model of family life’.
How can we influence business culture to change?
This week, the Women and Equalities Commission has made a start by outlining their recommendations on how to better support working fathers, including setting statutory paternity pay at 90% of a father’s wages (capped for high earners) and a new policy of 12 week’s leave for a father in their child’s first year.
Whilst understanding the cost constraints for small organisations and the impact this would have on them, many other countries have more generous policies, much higher take-up and have seen the overwhelmingly positive benefits for their workforce retention and productivity. The Institute of Labour Organization article below shares the progress Norway have made in this area alone.
Want to offer more flexibility for your employees but not sure what you could do?
Contact us here at Cornerstone Resources to discuss what’s needed for your employees, to create a more engaged, motivated and loyal workforce.