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A cross-party group of MPs has urged the Government to do more to improve Shared Parental Leave to reduce the gender pay gap.
Led by the Labour MP David Lammy, the letter to the minister for women and equalities Justine Greening says the gender pay gap will not fall significantly if women take the lion’s share of childcare responsibilities.
The letter expresses disappointment over the Government’s response to a recent Women & Equalities Committee report on reducing the gender pay gap which rejected most of the recomendations and over the low take-up of Shared Parental Leave.
It says: “We are particularly worried about gendered working culture that means that many men are worried that taking leave will be viewed negatively by their employer and limit their career.
“As the women and equalities committee report on the gender pay gap found, shared parental leave – the flagship policy in supporting parents to share care – is ‘predicted to make little difference to behaviour’.”
The MPs signing the letter would like to see three months of non-transferable paid paternal leave for the second parent and initiatives to shift attitudes over childcare.
Lammy, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on fatherhood, said legislation was not keeping up with the demand for change from parents.