From Monday 1 December, both men and women will be entitled to paid leave due to the birth of a child after April 5 2015. Women will be given the choice of sharing their parental employment rights with their partner.
There will be no basis on which employers can reject an application by an employee to enjoy the scheme as long as the time is intended to be taken in one go.
The new rules are described by Mike Emmott at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development as ‘the beginning of something fundamental and profound,’ however it is estimated that only numbers of around 2-6 percent will take advantage of their new rights, according to the government.
Law firm Linklaters, conducted a survey in which it was reported that the scheme was of interest to 70 percent of men and women but only a monetary incentive would lead them to utilising the leave; and harm to career progression would still be of major concern for many men.
The majority of female employees in larger companies enjoy a type of top-up scheme in which their employer will contribute to payments provided by the government to allow a period of normal salary to be enjoyed following the birth of a child. For the most part, we are yet to be informed of which companies will be contributing to the statutory shared parental leave. PwC, Deloitte and Shell are so far the only large companies to have publicly announced that they will be offering the top-up.