Statutory paternity leave and pay

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has called on the government to increase statutory paternity/partner leave to six weeks in order to help balance caring responsibilities and provide greater financial support to working parents.

Current legislation allows employees who have been with an employer for at least 26 weeks to take statutory paternity leave of either one or two consecutive weeks. A CIPD survey of 2,000 senior decision-makers, however, suggests almost half support extending this period, with a third of those believing it should be four weeks and nearly three in ten saying it should be extended to either six weeks or more.

The research also highlighted the fact that very few new parents currently use shared parental leave. Indeed, 85% of surveyed organisations said no new fathers/partners had taken up shared parental leave in the past two years.

CIPD Senior Policy Adviser Claire McCartney said, “Our research suggests that shared parental leave in its current form isn’t working; take-up continues to be very low. These survey findings reinforce our policy call to extend statutory paternity/partner leave and pay, which will help balance caring responsibilities, reflect the changing nature of modern families and provide much-needed financial support to working parents.”