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The equality of parenting

In the week after Father's Day in the UK, insurance provider Aviva commissioned a report into Shared Parental Leave (SPL) polling 1,000 fathers and 1,000 mothers with children aged 16 and under nationwide. Despite the legislation on SPL being in force since 2015 and the recent government campaign "Share the Joy", intended to raise awareness (which we talked about here), half of working fathers haven't heard of SPL. This is particularly disappointing as nine out of 10 parents are reported as believing mums and dads should be given equal parental leave.
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The equality of parenting

Can flexible working improve the gender pay gap?

One of the biggest barriers to gender equality and pay parity is a continuing resistance by employers to embrace agile working.

A recent joint study from flexible working specialists, Timewise, and Deloitte sets out the following five step plan to help employers establish and implement new working cultures with the aim of improving pay parity between men and women:

  • challenge the status quo: leaders must provoke cultural change
  • emphasise the value of male and female role models: flexible working should be gender neutral
  • ask “why not” rather than “why”: design flexibility into the job
  • provide the permission and tools to support a flexible workforce: influence the attitudes and actions of managers
  • measure the success of flexible working: collect the data

The study, dubbed a “Manifesto for Change, indicates that 30 per cent of workers who work flexibly feel they have less status and importance as a result.  A quarter of 2,000 people felt they missed opportunities to further their career because of this.  By comparison, 73% of respondents wanted their workplaces to reward people for the job they did rather than the number of hours they spent there.

The study identified that barriers to flexible working practices are largely cultural and often come down to the views and behaviours of managers.  Most respondents agreed that companies needed to recruit and train managers who truly support their team achieving a work/life balance, and implement a range of suitable flexible working options.

The clear message from the study was that “Employers need to catch up with the needs and aspirations of the modern workforce, or risk getting left behind.”  Now is the time to review flexible and agile working policies and practices and refresh the message to managers and employees alike that agile working practices are positive and here to stay.

 

Can flexible working improve the gender pay gap?

No requirement to enhance pay for shared parental leave

We blogged in June last year about the employment tribunal claim of Ali -v- Capita Customer Management Ltd where Mr Ali was successful in his claim for direct sex discrimination. Female employees at Capita were entitled to 14 weeks’ full pay on maternity leave whereas fathers were only entitled to two weeks’ full pay on paternity and shared parental leave. Mr Ali's wife was advised to return to work early from maternity leave after being diagnosed with post natal depression. Mr Ali asked Capita whether he could take leave instead and was told he could take shared parental leave on statutory pay. The Tribunal found that this was direct sex discrimination.
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No requirement to enhance pay for shared parental leave

Could paying dads to stay at home turn round failing shared parental leave programme?

Fathers must be given drastically improved rights or the Government’s shared parental leave policy risks failing entirely, experts have warned.

The policy, three years old this week, is meant to allow fathers to be more involved in their children’s early years and mothers to return to the workplace sooner.

But the latest official estimates suggest that as little as 2pc of eligible parents have so far taken up the offer, with a lack of awareness and equal pay issues being blamed.

Read more here – https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/could-paying-dads-stay-home-turn-round-failing-shared-parental/

Could paying dads to stay at home turn round failing shared parental leave programme?

A busy month for discrimination law

It’s been a busy few weeks for judgments; we round up the most recent discrimination cases:

When is cancer a disability?

What happens if an employer does not know an employee is pregnant when deciding to dismiss her but finds out before the dismissal takes effect?

Was forfeiture of LTIP awards unlawful age discrimination?

Click here to read the round up.

A busy month for discrimination law

UK Employment Law Round-up – March 2018

In this issue we look at some of the key employment law developments that have been taking place over the past month. In our case law review we take a look at ‘deemed disabilities’ under the Equality Act following a recent EAT judgment. We also look at what happens if an employer does not know an employee is pregnant when deciding to dismiss but finds out before the dismissal takes effect. The impact of the new taxation of termination payments coming into force from 6 April 2018 and the sponsor licence reporting process to be mindful of when involved in mergers and acquisitions are also covered.

https://www.dentons.com/en/insights/newsletters/2018/march/29/uk-employment-law-roundup/uk-employment-law-round-up-march-2018

UK Employment Law Round-up – March 2018

Fathers and the Workplace

The Women and Equalities Committee has published a report highlighting what it sees as the difficulties that fathers face in balancing their careers with childcare responsibilities. The report makes a series of proposals which aim to put men and women on a more equal footing when it comes to maternity and paternity leave. The most headline grabbing recommendation is that fathers should receive one month's leave at 90% of their salary (capped for higher earners) when their wife or partner has a baby and a further two months of paternity leave at £141 a week, without any loss of rights for the mother.
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Fathers and the Workplace

Shared Parental Leave for self-employed contractors

The Shared Parental Leave and Pay (Extension) Bill was introduced to the House of Commons on 21 February 2018 by Tracy Brabin MP. If passed, the Bill would extend Shared Parental Leave (SPL) rights to self-employed contractors by allowing them to share maternity allowance (currently available to self-employed mothers instead of statutory maternity pay) in the same way employed parents share SPL pay. The Bill aims to create parity between the traditionally employed and the self-employed in their ability to share SPL with their spouse or partner.
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Shared Parental Leave for self-employed contractors

Sex discrimination law review final report

2018 is a momentous year, in that it marks 100 years since British women were given the right to vote. Things have moved on a bit since 1918, and we can safely say that there have been many positive developments since then aimed at addressing the issue of gender inequality in the workplace.

Yet here we are, in this historic centenary year, reading daily accounts of high-profile cases of sex discrimination and harassment. Take, for example, the BBC “not doing equal pay” and the sexual harassment allegations arising from the notorious Presidents Club dinner. Inequality in the workplace remains a real issue, and against that backdrop one key question needs to be considered: are the UK’s sex discrimination laws still fit for purpose?

This was the question that the Fawcett Society (the UK’s leading charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights), together with a panel of legal and policy experts, was recently tasked with answering. Following a nine-month review, the Society has now made a number of recommendations on the following topics.

Read more here

Sex discrimination law review final report

Shared Parental Leave

Earlier this week, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy revealed that as little as around 2% of eligible couples are taking up their entitlement to Shared Parental Leave (SPL). At the same time, the government announced that it will spend £1.5 million on a campaign drive which will be known as "Share the Joy". The campaign will focus on raising the profile of SPL with a lack of awareness of SPL amongst eligible parents having been identified as a significant factor in the particularly low levels of up-take.
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Shared Parental Leave