Research and analysis

Shared Parental Leave (SPL) evaluation

The Shared Parental Leave (SPL) evaluation report assesses whether the implementation of Shared Parental Leave achieved its original objectives.



The Shared Parental Leave (SPL) Evaluation assesses the extent to which the implementation and take-up of Shared Parental Leave achieved its original objectives. This evaluation reports findings and conclusions on SPL relative to its stated objectives, by analysing a broad range of survey, administrative, qualitative and literature-based evidence sources to inform policymaking.

These objectives are:

  • to give parents more flexibility in how they care for their child in the first year
  • to encourage more fathers to play a greater caring role
  • and to increase flexibility for employees and employers to agree how best to balance work and childcare needs

The evaluation reports the following key findings:

  • parents have reported benefits for their work-life balance, including providing more choice and flexibility over balancing work and caring arrangements, and encouraging  parents to share childcare responsibilities
  • employers note advantages to the policy such as increased flexibility for parents and helping with staff recruitment and retention
  • take-up rates are in line with predictions made when the policy was introduced: 5% of employee fathers and 1% of employee mothers report taking SPL

The Shared Parental Leave evaluation is informed by the following reports which provide additional information on matters raised in the evaluation:

This evaluation provides information which is referred to in the response to the Parental leave and pay: government response. That consultation looked at options to reform the parental leave and pay system.

Published 29 June 2023
Last updated 4 July 2023 + show all updates
  1. Added links to reports that support the Shared Parental Leave evaluation.

  2. First published.