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The Devastating Impact of Gender Discrimination on Shared Parental Leave in the UK

Gheyoh Ndzi, Ernestine (2021) The Devastating Impact of Gender Discrimination on Shared Parental Leave in the UK. International Journal of Law and Society, 4 (4). pp. 254-261.

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Abstract

This research explores the impact of gender discrimination in the workplace on the uptake of shared parental leave (SPL). It highlights how continuous gender discrimination in the workplace is negatively impacting the take-up of SPL. While SPL aimed to drive gender equality, very little success has been recorded. Twenty semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty mothers and fathers who had a child (ren) on or after the 5th of April 2015 to understand how decades of gender inequality in the workplace might have impacted their decisions on SPL. The study found that the slow impact SPL is having on gender equality is due to the nature of the policy and the support available in the workplace. All the participants were generally excited about SPL and their interest in SPL, workplace practices, and support were key to their decision on SPL. However, there were still experiences of discrimination in the workplace. Participants felt that policies on SPL were complex and difficult to understand and needed employers’ support to understand how it would work. Some of the participants felt that they were well supported by their employers, and they could benefit from the policy, others felt unsupported. Some of the participants explained that while their employers enhance maternity pay, SPL pay was not enhanced disincentivising them from benefiting from the SPL policy. Some of the fathers interviewed were concerned about the potential impact SPL may have on their careers or what their employers and colleagues may think about them.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ijls.20210404.13
School/Department: York Business School
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/5643

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