POSTED: June 18 2018
New Fathers unaware of their parental leave options

New Fathers unaware of their parental leave options

New research by Aviva in the UK shows nearly half (46%) of working fathers are unaware they are entitled to take shared parental leave on the arrival of a child.

56% of fathers took less than a month off when their most recent child was born or adopted.

The survey, conducted by Aviva, also shows that one in 10 dads (11%) took no time off whatsoever when their most recent child arrived. Businesses are therefore being urged to do more to make sure their male staff know their rights, to enable them to spend precious time with their newborn or adopted children.

Crucially, the survey of UK parents with dependent children found that 86% of fathers would have taken more time off at the arrival of their children, but felt restricted by financial factors and employer constraints.

Nine out of 10 parents questioned (93%) felt that employers should give both mums and dads equal parental leave when a new child arrives.

But the majority of fathers (56%) took less than a month off work when their most recent child was born or adopted: the time taken by this group was typically 12 days. By comparison, mums took more than a year off work on average.

The survey revealed that


Sarah Morris, Chief People Officer at Aviva said: “Working and looking after children means a constant juggling act and it’s clear that many fathers feel overlooked and under-supported by their employer in this respect. Progress is being made, but our research suggests there’s still a way to go.

“Family-friendly working policies can offer huge benefits to employers and workers alike, whether this means extended parental leave, flexible working, or options for job shares. We hope to see more employers introducing inclusive policies for both men and women, to help working parents strike a balance and get the most out of their lives, inside and outside work.”

The Aviva research also found:

  • 52% of parents believed there should be more support from the government for equal parental leave, while 69% wanted greater assistance for flexible working.
  • When respondents were asked to rank the most important factors when looking for a role, flexible working came second only to salary.
  • The poll found an interest amongst parents for job-sharing options, although only 4% of dads questioned were doing a job-share, compared to 9% of mums.
  • A further 48% of parents said they would consider a job share, but of these, almost two thirds said their employer did not offer them.

Aviva has been practicing what it preaches by having one of the broadest Paternity benefits for their UK staff where they offer men and women equal parental leave with no requirement to share the parental leave between parents.


You can read more about Aviva’s own stance on Paternity here.



*Survey carried out by Censuswide Research 18-30 May 2018, polling 1,000 fathers and 1,000 mothers with children aged 16 and under, across the UK.

**Parental Leave:

Under the Government’s Shared Parental Leave regulation, parents can share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay.

Aviva’s equal parental leave policy entitles male and female employees to 26 weeks each on full basic pay on the arrival of a child. Parents are entitled to 52 weeks of leave of which 26 weeks is paid. On their return, parents will receive support to enable them to adapt back into work and any requests for flexible working will be considered.