Our campaign for father-inclusive support for working families

18 September 2019

Over the next six weeks we will submit our responses to the UK Government’s Good Work Plan, which includes three separate consultations: one about neonatal leave and pay, one about transparency of employer work-life balance policies (these first two must be submitted by 11 October), and one about parenting leave and pay (to be submitted by 29 November).

Taken together, these consultations amount to an important opportunity for us to argue the case that the support Britain offers to working families should be designed so as to offer fathers and mothers real choices over how they share the earning and caregiving when they have small children.

Our submissions will be based on the best evidence about parenting leave design from around the world, and will draw on our 2018 Nuffield Foundation-funded Cash or Carry report, which you can read here.

We have already sent the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy a critique of how the parenting leave and pay consultation was drafted. In it we outline numerous instances where we believe the drafting confuses different aspects of the current system, in ways that could make it difficult for consultation respondents to contribute their thoughts and ideas. You can read our critique below.

Earlier in the summer we joined the ‘Flex For All’ coalition (which includes Pregnant then Screwed, the Trades Union Congress, Mother Pukka and the Young Women’s Trust, as well as the Fatherhood Institute) to push for legislation to make flexible working the default for all jobs, unless the employer can justify that the job can’t be worked in that way – and to give all workers the right to request flexible working from Day 1 of their employment. You can sign our petition here. And read about Helen Whately MP’s flexible working bill, which she introduced with the support of our campaign, here.

We are also watching with interest this petition, about a new father calling on his employer, Powys County Council, to review its parental leave policies. The dad, Baz Price, lost an employment tribunal sex discrimination case, but still hopes to persuade the council to change its policy and enhance shared parental pay as it does for those taking maternity or adoption leave. Under the current shared parental leave system, it is left to employers’ discretion whether to match enhanced maternity leave and pay provisions.

Tags: , , , , , , ,