Sharing the care


Shared parental leave has been available to working families for five years. But it remains chronically under-used: just 9,200 families opted to take shared parental leave in 2017/2018 –around just one per cent of those eligible to do so.

Latest research from Fidelity International reveals that:

  • 51 per cent of fathers are unaware Shared Parental Leave is a viable option.
  • 25 per cent prefer to return to work sooner, rather than take time off.
  • Only 19 per cent of men plan to work part-time after the birth of their first child.
  • 49 per cent of men feel that, when establishing childcare arrangements, the most important thing is that they can continue working full-time.

Now, with thousands of parents across the UK doing more work remotely from home, many financial experts believe that the ‘new normal’ is having an impact on families, with many more opting for Shared Parental Leave going forward.

Maike Currie is a financial expert and investment director at Fidelity International. She is also a mother, currently working from home. She comments: ‘With many families forced to share parental duties for at least the near future, this could spur a mass reassessment of the benefits of SPL. But greater awareness is needed to get this working as it should. It’s important that people know their options and are supported in their choices.