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Shared Parental Leave

Volume 638: debated on Thursday 29 March 2018

The Government want more families to take advantage of the opportunities offered by shared parental leave. That was why the Government launched a £1.5 million communication campaign in February to raise awareness of the shared parental leave and pay schemes. This is ongoing, and is supported by improved advertising and guidance for parents and their employers.

I welcome the Minister’s answer, but may I ask what discussions the Government have had about implementing the recommendation in the Fawcett Society’s sex discrimination law review that shared parental pay and paternity pay should be the right of all employees from their first day of employment?

It is an obvious point. Many people say that one of the barriers to their taking shared parental leave is the difference in pay in relation to fathers rather than mothers. The shared parental leave scheme was only introduced in 2015; we are currently evaluating it to see how it is working, and we will report in the spring of 2019. However, the hon. Gentleman’s points are very relevant, and we are keeping abreast of the issue.