Parental Leave

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 16th October 2020.

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Photo of Colleen Fletcher Colleen Fletcher Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to encourage more new parents to take up shared parental leave.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

Shared Parental Leave and Pay came into effect in December 2014 for the parents of children due or adopted from 5 April 2015. A marketing campaign comprising of PR, digital and advertising activity was conducted leading up to the scheme coming into effect, as well as significant stakeholder engagement and promotion through gov.uk.

In 2018, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Government Equalities Office ran a joint £1.5m campaign to promote the scheme and encourage take-up. Again, this was a multi-channel campaign which made use of digital website advertising, targeted social media advertising, posters in train stations and on commuter routes, and digital content shared through both Government and external partners' channels. To help parents to understand and make use of the scheme, a suite of new tools and guidance was published at the same time.

In order to maintain momentum, we ran a further marketing campaign in 2019, focussing on social media channels and promoting the scheme through trusted partners.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is currently developing an online tool to help parents plan Shared Parental Leave and Pay. This will help parents to understand their entitlements and facilitate discussions with employers, thereby encouraging more new parents to use the scheme. The tool will be available on GOV.UK early in 2021.

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