Around half of the UK workforce now comprises women, and their increased participation in the labour market has changed the traditional models of working families. Given the very high proportion of working men and women who are parents, it makes sense from a societal and employment perspective to develop an effective framework to support their need to balance work and childcare. Good maternity, paternity and parental leave practices that are coherent and inclusive and communicated effectively to everyone should form the bedrock of an organisation’s strategy to nurture a family-friendly workplace for working parents.

This focus report looks in detail at areas such as maternity and paternity provision as well as take-up of SPL. It also explores employers’ level of awareness of, and attitudes towards, important new legislative changes that are due to come into force, including the extension of SPL and pay to working grandparents, Tax-Free Childcare and the entitlement o 30 hours of free childcare for working parents of three- and fouryear- olds from 2017.

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