International Men’s Day: Employers must remove barriers to shared parental leave

Tuesday 19 November marks International Men’s Day

Charlotte Woodworth, gender equality director at Business in the Community, said:

“Our research has found men want the opportunity to be more involved in caring for their children, but many employers assume it’s only women who want or need to balance their family responsibilities with their day jobs. Offering shared parental leave with little or no financial support makes it impossible for many families to even consider it, a key reason the UK has very low take-up rates. This doesn’t just limit men’s abilities to be with their families, it hinders women’s ability to flourish at work as they must take on the lion’s share of caring for kids.

“Our Equal Lives research, produced in partnership with Santander, also found men were more hesitant to request flexible working arrangements than women but would be more likely to take this up if they were confident that it would not impact their career prospects or if there were more visible examples from their seniors.

“This International Men’s Day, employers who want to do more to enable men and women to flourish at work and at home should review their parental leave policies, including the pay package attached, and make clear that flexible working arrangements will not hurt career prospects.”


Notes to editor

Media contact

Cathy Beveridge, media and external affairs manager, Business in the Community, 07776 181945,

About Business in the Community

Business in the Community is the oldest and largest business-led membership organisation dedicated to responsible business. We were created nearly 40 years ago by HRH The Prince of Wales to champion responsible business. 

We inspire, engage and challenge members and we mobilise that collective strength as a force for good in society to: 

  • create a skilled, inclusive workforce today and for the future
  • build thriving communities in which to live and work
  • innovate to repair and sustain our planet.