“They’re just hasn’t been the take-up we thought there would be,” is what I hear most often when I ask clients and HR practitioners about Shared Parental Leave.
What if employers invited expectant fathers to tell them they are expecting a baby? How might this affect the take-up of Shared Parental Leave? “A voluntary ‘DADB1’ form alongside the ‘MATB1’ form women are given by the NHS to pass to their employers?” I quipped in a LinkedIn article If employers REALLY want more men to take SPL, here’s how in March 2017.
18 months later and we’re calling upon the Government to introduce a “DADB1” form alongside the “MATB1” form pregnant women are issued by their midwife to verify their pregnancy. The DADB1 form is for expectant fathers to hand to their employer to kickstart discussions about, and preparation for, Shared Parental Leave. The DADB1 form is a simple, pragmatic step towards growing the number of men taking SPL by kickstarting early conversations between expectant fathers and their employers.
Why? Watch this short film.
Researchers have indicated that increasing the numbers of men taking SPL is likely to be a lever in closing the UK’s gender pay gap. Shared Parental Leave was introduced in the UK April 2015. Around 285,000 qualify for SPL every year yet the take-up could be as low as 2% (source: gov.uk). The Government launched a “Share the joy” campaign in February 2018 to promote SPL and increase the uptake. The impact of this is not yet known.
Thank you to Samuel Hudman and Oliver (his new son), for being our poster boys for this campaign.