Quick Search:

An Analysis of Shared Parental Leave Policies in UK Universities

Gheyoh Ndzi, Ernestine (2023) An Analysis of Shared Parental Leave Policies in UK Universities. International Journal of Law and Society, 6 (1). pp. 46-53.

10.11648.j.ijls.20230601.17.pdf - Published Version

| Preview


The paper examines the content, pay package, and uptake of shared parental leave within 66 UK universities. The study aimed to consider whether the nature of the policy and the pay impacted the effectiveness of shared parental leave. Data for the study was obtained by analysing the shared parental leave policies of 66 universities in the UK whose policies were publicly accessible through the university websites. Freedom of Information requests was made to 125 universities listed on The UniGuide 2020 to obtain data on the take-up of shared parental leave in UK universities. Out of the 125 universities, 80 responded to the freedom of information with data on shared parental leave take-up from 2016-2021. Findings demonstrate a mixed picture of the level of details universities tend to include in their policy document. While some universities provided detailed information with examples to support staff, others provided as little as a line directing staff to the government website on shared parental leave policy. While most universities enhance maternity and paternity leave, not all universities extended the pay generosity to shared parental leave. This is seen as a disincentive to parents to take shared parental leave given that shared parental leave is not an addition to maternity leave for the mother. The findings supports the stereotypical gendered norms in which most workplaces are modelled. There was no identifiable trend within a particular group of universities regarding the length of the policy document or material included in the policy. However, there was an identifiable trend regarding shared parental leave take-up. The top 10 universities with the highest take up of shared parental leave were mostly Russell Group universities which could also be described as research-active institutions. This study concludes that gendered inequality in the workplace and motherhood penalty are why most universities are not proactive in supporting shared parental leave policy.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ijls.20230601.17
School/Department: York Business School
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/7295

University Staff: Request a correction | RaY Editors: Update this record