A new investigation has found that around half of dads who have accepted their parental leave allocation have been discriminated against in the workplace.
The research aimed to assess the impact that the Government’s new parental policy – Shared Parental Leave (SPL) was having on fathers in the workplace.
SPL was introduced by the Government in 2015 to allow parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of statutory pay between them after the birth of a child.
Leave is taken during the first year after the child is born and can be taken in blocks or all in one go, with parents also having the choice of being off together or staggering the leave and pay.
It was designed to allow couples to split child-caring roles more equally. However, many men are facing discrimination for taking this time off.
The research found that a quarter of fathers were the subject of verbal abuse or mockery after taking time off to look after their child.
On top of that more than a third of new dads claimed their career suffered negatively after, exercising their right to parental leave. The data showed 17 per cent of these people suffered job losses and 20 per cent received a demotion.
Last year only 9,200 new parents took shared parental leave, one per cent of those eligible to do it.
The TUC believes that many don’t participate as the scheme is so poorly paid at just (£145.18) per week, making it unaffordable for most fathers. On top of this many agency, zero-hour contract and self-employed workers are not eligible for the shared leave.
Samantha Randall an employment law expert with Palmers, said: “Many new dads are experiencing discrimination for taking shared parental leave despite being entitled to it. This, along with the poor pay within the scheme are thought to be two of the key reasons why the scheme has experienced such a poor uptake since its introduction.”