• Recent research by My Family Care has revealed some stark but not unpredicted statistics regarding the take-up of shared parental leave by fathers.

    The headline is that only 1% of fathers have taken up this right in the first year of its operation. This is even lower than our own predictions that the take-up of this right would be limited.

    The survey indicates a number of interesting statistics as to why this is the case:

    • 55% of women said they would not wish to share their maternity leave;
    • 80% of those surveys indicated that finances were key to this decision.

    There may also still be a cultural reticence to be seen to be taking such leave which is still to be overcome. By comparison, it is reported that 9 out of 10 fathers in Sweden and Norway take this type of leave. However, it is notable that they are paid between 80 and 100% of their earnings.

    We will have to wait-and-see if over time the practice of fathers sharing maternity leave becomes the norm rather than at present very much the exception.

    This content is correct at time of publication

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