Balancing the Gender Division of Parental Leave and Pay

Supporting working parents to combine work with childcare not only helps individual parents, it also helps the people that they work for: employers have access to a wider pool of talent and are better able to cultivate and retain that talent.

The UK has a long tradition of supporting working families. For nearly 20 years, fathers and partners have enjoyed paternity entitlements which enable them to take time off work when their children are born or placed with their family for adoption.

Parental leave and pay policies give employed parents a right to time off work in the first year and thereafter, supplemented by a range of employment rights and protections, intended to prevent employers from discriminating against parents or treating them unfairly because they have been absent from work on parental leave.

Together, these rights and protections are intended to:

  • Enable women to prepare for and recover from birth;
  • Facilitate women returning to work and staying in work (i.e. boost female participation inthe labour market);
  • Give working families more choice and flexibility;
  • Increase paternal involvement in childcare;
  • Close the employment and gender pay gaps;
  • Prevent pregnancy and maternity discrimination;
  • Prevent discrimination against parents who take or seek to take parental leave; and
  • Minimise the burdens on business.

The introduction of Shared Parental Leave and Pay in 2015 was a significant step forward in terms of challenging gender stereotypes around the roles of men and women at home and at work.

But there is more work to be done to support female participation and to close the employment and gender pay gaps. We need to do more to tackle gender inequality at home and in wider society.

The government has set out proposals to reform the existing parental leave and pay entitlements as part of an open consultation on Good Work. The objective is to help parents to balance the gender division of parental leave, support women’s economic empowerment and close the gender pay gap. 

We recognise that, as HR practitioners, you will have valuable experience of the many factors and variables associated with supporting working parents and we’d like to hear about your experience and insights to inform the CIPD’s response to the government consultation on Parental leave and pay: Supporting parents and achieving equality. 

What are your thoughts on

  • The current provisions for parental leave and pay? Do they give working parents the choice and flexibility they need to combine work with family life? 
  • Ways to enable more women to combine having a family with pursuing their career and support more men to play a more significant part in childcare? 

The CIPD Manchester Branch Public Policy Panel is delighted to welcome Claire McCartney, Resourcing and Inclusion Policy Adviser at CIPD, to lead this round table discussion.

Claire will be joined by James Pike, Senior Associate at Squire Patton Boggs, who will provide a legal update on family-friendly legislation, including the expectations for the Parental Bereavement Act and other relevant legislation that may be on the horizon. 

Join us on 5 November from 17:45 – 20:00 at No1 Spinningfields (Manchester, M3) Bring your views, your questions and your concerns to share under the Chatham House Rule. 

Our event is free for CIPD Members and Students. Non-Member tickets £15

About Claire McCartney
Claire is the Resourcing and Inclusion Policy Adviser at the CIPD. Claire specialises in the areas of diversity & inclusion, flexible working, resourcing and talent management. She has also researched meaning and trust at work, workplace carers and enterprise and has worked on several international projects. She is the author of several reports and articles and regularly presents at seminars and conferences. 

About James Pike
James is Senior Associate at Squire Patton Boggs and has a broad practise where he advises clients on all areas of contentious and non-contentious employment law. He has considerable experience in handling complex employment tribunal claims, as well as managing large-scale change projects and dealing with industrial relations issues. He is also highly experienced in advising about all aspects of National Minimum Wage compliance and regularly supports clients through HMRC audits. 

Date And Time
Tue, 5 November 2019
17:45 – 20:00 

No1 Spinningfields 
Manchester M3 3EB 

Location Manchester, England E-mail Hours Our hours vary according to our programme.
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