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Publicise parental leave policies

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A study conducted by the Liberal Democrats has revealed that only 4 UK government departments display their parental leave and pay policies on their external websites. This is despite the fact that the government has launched a new “Share the joy” campaign, intended to encourage more parents to utilise shared parental leave, and is spending £1.5 million to increase awareness.

Liberal Democrat deputy leader and former employment relations minister Jo Swinson MP has asked Theresa May to “instruct all departments to put this information in the public domain at once”, calling for greater transparency and a better example to be set for all UK employers by the civil service. Ms Swinson asserted the importance of greater transparency in this regard by claiming that it could help reduce the risk of discriminatory treatment during the recruitment process, as applicants would no longer have to ask about parental leave during interviews. Ms Swinson is also seeking new legislation to require employers of 250 or more staff to publish their parental leave policies.

The “Share the joy” campaign seeks to raise awareness through digital website advertising, social media and transit advertising, after a research carried out by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy found that approximately only 49% of eligible couples are aware of shared parental leave, whilst a mere 8% claim to know about the policy in any detail.