Leave in the lurch

Think tank: Centre for Progressive Policy

Author(s): Various Authors

June 15, 2023

This report from UK think tank the Centre for Progressive Policy looks at paternity leave, gender equality and the UK economy.

CPP has joined forces with campaign group Pregnant Then Screwed (PTS) and Women in Data® to publish new research on the societal and economic impact of paternity leave. The report looks at public attitudes to paternity leave, the experiences of parents, and the economic impact of more generous paternity leave entitlements across OECD countries. CPP’s analysis of OECD data finds that countries with more than six weeks of paid paternity leave have a 4-percentage point smaller gender wage gap and 3.7 percentage point smaller labour force participation gap than countries that have less than six weeks. New analysis of PTS and Women in Data®’s 2023 State of the Nation survey of parents finds that for 1 in 5 (20%) dads, no parental leave options were available to them following the birth or adoption of their child. Of those that were entitled to some leave, but returned to work early, 43% cited financial hardship as the reason for not taking their full entitlement. CPP and Pregnant then Screwed are calling on the government to increase the length of non-transferable paternity leave to a minimum of six weeks and to pay it at 90% of income in line with current statutory maternity pay, alongside enhancing existing maternity rights to reduce financial hardship, the gender employment gap, and the gender pay gap. Paternity leave should be available to all working dads and partners.