Since 2018, we have run annual communications campaigns to promote shared parental leave to parents and employers, to help employers who do not already have bespoke policies in place. We are developing models, policies and guidance to help employers understand how they might put shared parental leave into practice.
One big barrier to the take-up of shared parental leave is that businesses often do not offer enhanced pay to fathers who are taking it up. What steps is the Minister’s Department taking to encourage businesses to do this?
First, I would like to welcome my hon. Friend to this place—it is great to have another female elected in my county of Kent. We are exploring options to improve the tools and guidance that can support parents and employers to make greater use of shared parental leave, including model policies for employers. We are also evaluating the scheme, looking at how it can be used in practice and at what we can do to support take-up. We will be reporting on the evaluation later in the year.
Mr Speaker, if we are going to take this seriously, will we look at making this House an exemplar of shared parental leave? I understand that we can now have locums, but there are no funds to provide finance for them. Does the Minister think the House should be leading on this?
I thank the hon. Gentleman for that question. I would welcome any organisation that has the right policies in place to encourage all eligible employers to take up that offer; it is probably a matter for the House, but I would very much welcome this.