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East Midlands Chamber News

Poor take-up of shared parental leave

Ministers have launched an inquiry into the failure of a shared parental leave scheme aimed at encouraging new fathers to stay at home with their children.

It follows new evidence that only a tiny minority of couples who qualify for the initiative have taken it up, the Daily Mail reports.

Shared parental leave, introduced at the urging of Nick Clegg three years ago, means that new mothers can share their maternity leave with fathers. 

Couples can share 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of state-subsidised pay of at least £145.18 a week after they have a baby.

Earlier this year Whitehall admitted that only one in 50 couples entitled to take shared parental leave had done so. 

A fresh ‘share the joy’ campaign – costing £1.5m – was launched by the Department for Business to highlight the scheme.