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Majority of UK Approves of New Childcare Rules

According to a survey carried out on behalf of the UK Government, the majority of adults in the UK approve of the new shared parental leave regulations coming into effect in April this year.

The new system is set to improve family life and relationships according to the new survey.

The survey, carried out by Opinion Matters for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills found that 53% of adults agreed that sharing childcare duties equally was a good thing.  22% of all those surveyed believed that parents should be able to decide how time is divided depending on their work commitments and their responsibilities.

Despite the positive results, just under 25% of respondents believed that the duty of care lied solely with the mother of the child.

The new regulations on child care were approved by existing fathers with over 60% stating that they would have taken advantage of a similar type of parental leave had it been available at the time. Indeed 4 out of 5 people planning to have children in the near future stated that they would consider using shared parental leave.

Shared Parental Leave

Shared parental leave comes into effect on the 5th April, granting parents the right to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of paid leave between them. The rules allow parents to take time to care for their child in the first year of birth and create a better work and domestic balance. Furthermore the new regulations allow greater flexibility for employers, who must agree to the time allocated for parental leave, allowing them to plan workloads and schedules based on advanced notice.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “This Edwardian notion that women should stay at home while men go out and support the family has simply no place in this day and age.

“We know that mums and dads want more flexibility and choice when it comes to juggling their home and work lives and we’re listening and taking action.”

He added that under shared parental leave: “Parents can make their own decisions about how to raise their family, whether it’s giving women the choice to go back to work earlier or men the opportunity to spend more time with their children.”

Benefits for Father

The shared parental regulations were brought in to encourage fathers to care for their child and for both parents to become comfortable in their new roles. 6 in 10 males believed that as a result of the new parental regulations they would form a closer bond with their child. 57% felt that by being involved in their child's life, it would aid their family dynamic and their relationship.

Just under half of men surveyed believed that the new system was much faire, with 39% of those surveyed believing that it was beneficial to allow both parents to get back into work.

Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson said: “This survey shows people are rejecting dated stereotypes about the roles of men and women.

“Parenting is a shared endeavour and couples want more flexibility when they are adapting to the demands of a new baby.

“Shared Parental Leave will let couples choose how to share their childcare responsibilities in whatever way works best for them, and enable both parents to spend time developing that vital bond with their baby in the early stages.

Shared parental leave can be taken at any time in the first year of the birth of a child.

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