Reforming parental leave in the UK could close the gender pay gap

What drove your decisions as a parent, or expecting parent? What reforms would help the most? Make your voice heard by answering this short survey from University College London.

Academic research from several countries has found that most of the gender pay gap in European countries is driven by gendered responses to parenthood – in the UK, the gender pay gap is approximately 10% before the birth of a couple’s first child, but this increases to 30% after 10 years. 

After having a child, mothers disproportionately take more parental leave than fathers. Why is this? In the UK, a key reason is that the parental leave system incentivises it. To start, Statutory Maternity Leave is one year, while Statutory Paternity Leave is just two weeks.

While theoretically mothers can give up some of their entitlement and pass it on to their partner (opting into Shared Parental Leave), only approximately 40% of parents are eligible to do this.

Researchers at University College London (UCL) are interested in what drove you to make the decisions you made or will make about parental leave, and what reforms would help you the most. You can have your say and help push for evidence-based reform by filling out this survey.

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