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Parental Leave

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 116964, tabled on 2 February 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much his Department has spent on promoting the Shared Parental Leave scheme in each year since 2014-15.

Answered on

7 February 2022

Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Pay was introduced in December 2014 for the parents of children due or adopted from 5 April 2015. The scheme enables eligible working parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay in the first year, where the mother does not intend to use her full maternity entitlements.

Information provided by employers to HMRC in respect of claims for Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) by Quarter3 indicates that 4,500 individuals were in receipt of ShPP in Quarter 1 of 2021-22, and 5,300 individuals were in receipt of ShPP in Quarter 2 of 2021-22. Data for Quarter 3 of 2021-22 is not yet available.

HMRC does not hold information which calculates the total duration of ShPP received by individual claimants. However, the Table 1 sets out the number of individuals in receipt of ShPP in 2020-21 by the number of months4 in the year that they made a claim:

Number of months claimed4 in 2020-21

Number of individuals in receipt of ShPP

1

3,400

2

2,700

3

2,100

4

1,400

5

700

6

500

7

300

8

100

9

100

Please note:

  1. The data collected uses HMRC Real Time Information (RTI) system and was extracted in November 2021 covering up to September 2021. RTI is subject to revision or updates, and so there may be small fluctuations in figures reported, and these figures should not be considered “final”.
  2. Figures have been rounded to the nearest hundred.
  3. The number of individuals in receipt of ShPP per quarter are based on the total number of individuals in that quarter irrespective of when the payment first started. For example, some individuals in the Quarter 2 figures also appeared in Quarter 1 figures. Quarterly figures should not be added together to make a yearly count of individuals in receipt of ShPP due to double counting claimants from quarter to quarter.
  4. “Number of months claimed” counts each month the same individual was in receipt of ShPP, in a given tax year (2020-21). This should not be interpreted as the total duration of pay received. Where individuals are in receipt of pay which spans two financial years HMRC data shows only the period within each year. Where individuals have received pay spanning multiple months, however briefly, they will be recorded as receiving ShPP in each month.
  5. This data represents individuals in receipt of Shared Parental Pay only, so those who take unpaid Shared Parental Leave are not included.

The Government conducted a £1.5 million communications campaign in 2018 to promote the Shared Parental Leave Scheme. In addition to this campaign, we have also undertaken cost-free communications activities to promote the scheme such as blogs by parents who have taken the leave and articles regarding the introduction of the online tool which enables parents to map out leave with their partner

The number of hours officials spend on individual projects is not held centrally.

In order for fathers/partners to take Shared Parental Leave, the child’s mother must curtail their entitlement to 52 weeks of Maternity Leave and 39 weeks of Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance to potentially share any remaining weeks of leave and pay with the child’s father/their partner or take SPL themselves (they may wish to do this as SPL is more flexible than Maternity Leave).

Information provided by employers to HMRC in respect of claims for Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) show the number of individuals (including mothers and fathers/partners) in receipt of ShPP. This data provides a broad indication of the level of SPL take-up for parental leave entitlements but does not include anyone taking unpaid Shared Parental Leave. Table 2 sets out the number of individuals in receipt of ShPP in each year since 2015-16.

Year (Apr to Mar unless otherwise stated)

No. of individuals6 in receipt of Statutory Shared Parental Pay

2015-16

6,200

2016-17

8,600

2017-18

9,200

2018-19

10,700

2019-20

12,600

2020-21

11,200

2021-22 (Apr 21 to Sep 21)

7,600

Notes

  1. The data collected uses HMRC Real Time Information (RTI) system and was extracted in November 2021 covering up to September 2021. RTI is subject to revision or updates, and so there may be small fluctuations in figures reported, and these figures should not be considered “final”. This may especially be the case for 2021/22 data.
  2. Figures have been rounded to the nearest hundred.
  3. These figures are based on the total number of individuals in receipt of ShPP in a given year, irrespective of when the payment first started. Therefore, some individuals will be counted in 2 years (for example, those who take SPL in March and continue in April etc will be counted in both years).
  4. For the 2015-16 tax year, those receiving Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (ASPP) for children born before 6 April 2015 cannot be distinguished from those claiming Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) within RTI data.
  5. Data for individuals in receipt of Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) includes both mothers and fathers in receipt of ShPP, however fathers, on average, make up over three-quarters of all ShPP recipients.
  6. Data for individuals in receipt of Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) includes both mothers and fathers in receipt of ShPP, however fathers, on average, make up over three-quarters of all ShPP recipients.
  7. This data represents individuals in receipt of statutory parental pay only, so those who take unpaid parental leave are not included.
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