Parental Leave: Most Men Think Childcare SHOULD Be Shared Between Parents

Is Britain finally moving away from the dated stereotype that women should stay home and raise the children?

Nick Clegg’s new law for shared parental leave will come into affect in early April, enabling dads to take up to 50 weeks of paternity leave.

But the question on everyone’s lips is will men be willing to halt their career to bring up their child?

Would you be willing to share parental leave? [Rex]
Would you be willing to share parental leave? [Rex]

Judging by the results from a new survey, half of Brits DO think that childcare should be shared. Some 56 per cent of men supported Clegg’s move, compared to 50 per cent of women who did.

In a poll of 2,000 Britons conducted by the department of Business Innovation and Skills, 83 per cent of those who are thinking about becoming parents would consider taking Clegg up on his offer of shared parental leave.

And 75 per cent of men who are already dads admitted they would have considered the option if it had been available when their child was born – compared to 63 per cent of mums.

“This survey shows people are rejecting dated stereotypes about the roles of men and women,” says employment relations minister Jo Swinson. “Parenting is a shared endeavor and couples want more flexibility when they are adapting to the demands of a new baby.

“Shared parental leave will let couples choose how to share their childcare responsibilities in whatever way works best of them, and enable both parents to spend time developing that vital bond with their baby in the early stages.”

Women no longer have to give up their maternity leave - they can share it with their partner [Rex]
Women no longer have to give up their maternity leave - they can share it with their partner [Rex]

Nick Clegg’s Shared Parental Leave Strategy
Shared parental leave will come into play from 5 April, allowing parents to evenly split 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay between them during their child’s first year.

Up until now, parents have been able to share time off after the birth of their child, but not at the same time.

“This Edwardian notion that women should stay at home while men go out and support the family has simply no place in this day and age,” says Clegg. “We need a modern Britain and a fair society that works for families, not against them.

“We’ve introduced shared parental leave so that parents can make their own decisions about how to raise their family, whether it’s giving women the choice to go back to work earlier or men the opportunity to spend more time with their children.”

Parents will be able to divvy up the year in a way that suits them (and their employer), so long as the mum takes a compulsory two weeks off to recover after the baby is born.

Not everyone welcomes the move – the Institute of Directors business group labelled it a “nightmare” which would “heap yet more burdens on struggling employers”.

But judging by the results of this survey, clearly lots of parents are in favour of it. And it’s definitely a great way for both mums and dads to bond, and spend time, with their newborn baby.

[Maternity Leave Putting A Financial Strain On Families – Leaving Them £537 Short Each Month]

[Katie Hopkins: Men Would Rather Boil Their Heads In Breast Milk Than Take Paternity Leave]

Would you share parental leave? Let us know in the comments.