To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he has taken to (a) identify the main challenges that new parents face during parental leave and (b) make an assessment of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on parental leave.
In 2019 we consulted on high-level options for reforming parental leave and pay. We are also conducting a formal evaluation of the Shared Parental Leave and Pay scheme, including large-scale, representative surveys of employers and parents. Together, these will give us a fuller picture of how well the current system of parental leave and pay is working for parents and employers.
We are currently processing and analysing the data from the research and analysing the information that we have collected through the consultation. We intend to publish our findings later this year.
The Government has also remained in close contact with stakeholders and charities supporting parents throughout the pandemic.
We have taken steps to support new parents by passing emergency legislation which ensures that parents who are furloughed during the period that is used to determine entitlement to Maternity, Adoption and other family-related statutory pay do not lose out. This legislation ensures that entitlement to pay and the rate of pay that parents receive is based on their normal earnings, not their furlough pay.