Paternity leave: only 9% of employers offer more than two weeks

According to a report by benchmarking service Incomes Data Research (IDR), fewer than one in 10 (9% of) employers offer more than the statutory minimum paternity leave of two weeks.

This headline finding was reported in IDR's 'Maternity and Paternity Pay 2018' survey and is based on responses from 119 UK organisations, collectively employing more than 458,000 staff.

While the 9% figure may seem low,” says Nick Soret, head of consultancy technical development at Mentor, “the survey also shows that 60% of companies do improve on the statutory minimum pay provisions. So while the time that paternity leave covers may not often exceed the minimum, remuneration often does.”

In fact, 39% of respondents provide full pay for both weeks of paternity leave. The statutory minimum is the lesser sum of £145.18 per week or 90% of an employee's average weekly earnings.

The survey looked at maternity pay as well as shared parental leave, and found that 70% of employers made some kind of improvement on the statutory minimum for maternity pay.

“This suggests that many employers believe that the basic statutory offering is inadequate,” says Zoe Woolacott, research assistant at IDR. “They feel that a longer period of fully paid leave can reap dividends in helping them engage and retain talent - even if not all companies openly share their maternity policies with prospective recruits at present.”

As has been suggested previously by official statistics, the uptake of shared parental leave appears to be as low as 2% among eligible parents.

Mentor provides advice on health and safety and employment law.

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