Just 7,100 men received Shared Parental Pay last year, according to the Government.
The figures, obtained through a freedom of information request by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s People Management publication, only show the figures for men who received SPP.
They also show a small increase in the number of men taking paid paternity leave in the 2016/17 tax year. Some 221,000 men received statutory paternity pay, up 5.7 per cent compared with 209,000 in 2013-14.
The low uptake of Shared Parental Leave tallies with other reports and with anecdotal reports from HR managers Workingmums.co.uk has been in contact with.
Under Shared Parental Leave, the mother can opt to share 50 weeks of her leave with her partner. Shared Parental Pay (39 weeks minus any weeks of maternity pay, maternity allowance or adoption pay) covers the first nine months, with the last three months being unpaid. It currently stands at £140.98 a week.
Low take-up of SPL has been blamed on a combination of factors, including the low level of statutory pay, the complexity of the legislation and concerns over the way it has been implemented, for instance, the lack of dedicated leave for fathers.