This project, run by Jamie Atkinson (Manchester Law School) and Professor Ben Lupton (MMU Business School), seeks to explore some of the reasons for the low take up of Shared Parental Leave (SPL) in the UK. SPL was introduced in April 2015 and was seen as in important step to support working parents who wish to share childcare, and a potential lever to reduce gender inequalities. The lack of take up, if it continues, is likely to impact on the ability to meet these important agendas.
The research team want to test the view that men’s role as fathers is frequently unacknowledged in the workplace, and that they are consequently less likely to request SPL. The study will examine the process of implementing, accessing and negotiating SPL from three perspectives: male employees who have young children, line managers and HR professionals – and researchers will be interviewing participants from each of these groups. One outcome of the project will be the development of a practical action plan for employers to support them with dealing with SPL requests.
The researchers are currently recruiting participants for the study, and would be happy to interview employees who considered taking SPL but ultimately did not go ahead, as well as those who did formally request it. We would also like to interview HR managers and line managers to find out about their experiences of managing SPL. Our focus, at least initially, is on private sector employers and their employees.
If you would be interested in participating or want to find out more about the study, please contact Jamie Atkinson on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0161 247 6445 or contact Jamie via Twitter. His Twitter handle is @atkojl