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Employers ‘not ready for shared parental leave’

Employers are not prepared for new rules on shared parental leave that take effect on 1 December, new research has found.

The results, published on 25 November by HR and other employment services provider ADP, also suggests that HR directors have underestimated the likely level of interest amongst employees.

More than one in five (21 per cent) of HR directors quizzed said they were not ready for the requirements of the shared parental leave legislation, while 70 per cent predicted little or no interest from employees in the first 12 months.

Yet when employees were asked their views, a third (33 per cent) of 16 to 34-year-olds said they anticipated taking advantage of shared parental leave within the next five years.

Shared parental leave enables eligible mothers, fathers, partners and adopters to choose how to share time off work after their child is born or placed. It will be an option for parents with a child due to be born on or after 5 April 2015.

Annabel Jones, HR director at ADP UK, said: “The introduction of shared parental leave represents a step change for working parents, allowing them to take more control over child care responsibilities in the challenging few months after birth.

“Our findings show that many employees are keenly anticipating the changes and the potential benefits they will bring but some HR directors may have underestimated the impact.”