Shared parental leave uptake still ‘exceptionally low’, research finds

Only 2 per cent of eligible couples made use of shared parent leave (SPL) last year, meaning uptake was still “exceptionally low”, according to research by law firm EMW based on HMRC figures.

The use of SPL increased by 23 per cent last year but only 13,100 couples applied to the scheme, the figures showed.

The research revealed nearly 650,000 women claimed maternity pay last year, meaning that only 2 per cent of eligible couples made use of SPL. EMW described the scheme’s uptake as “exceptionally low” given it was introduced five years ago, suggesting the low rate of pay on SPL could be a disincentive for couples.

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