Shared parental leave: Can transferable maternity leave ever encourage fathers to care?

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Shared parental leave made some maternity leave transferable in the UK. The aim was to improve the position of working parents, particularly mothers, by encouraging fathers to take on more of a caring role. It has been widely acknowledged that the legislation has failed to achieve this. This article considers whether the reasons for this failure are due to the specifics of the UK’s legislative scheme itself, or the model of transferable maternity leave. Comparing the experience of other countries with transferable maternity leave shows that solving many of the issues with the UK legislation would not be enough to encourage fathers to care. Instead, such comparison shows that the model of transferable maternity leave can never be the most effective tool to encourage fathers to care because it will always prioritise mothers’ caring role.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149–178
Number of pages30
JournalIndustrial Law Journal
Issue number1
Early online date6 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

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