On Wednesday (29th March) I chaired a meeting of the Fatherhood All Party Parliamentary Group on Shared Parental Leave and fathers in the workplace. This meeting followed a joint letter to the Minister for Women and Equalities calling on the government to improve existing Shared Parental Leave policy.
The meeting began with Mubeen Bhutta from Working Families outlining the Modern Families Index 2017, which warned of a "fatherhood penalty" and found that workplace culture is often unsupportive of active fatherhood.
Maria Miller MP, Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, discussed the Committee's inquiry into fathers in the workplace and we also had a panel discussion with Stella Creasy MP, Jess Phillips MP, Steve Double MP, Tim Loughton MP and Kathy Jones, joint Chief Executive of the Fatherhood Institute.
Questions focused on what the government and employers can do to promote active fatherhood, as well as how important improving Shared Parental Leave policy is for making progress towards closing the gender pay gap and achieving gender equality both inside and outside of the workplace.
I was absolutely delighted that the meeting generated so much interest across the sector and attracted the support of a range of cross-party MP's. The All Party Parliamentary Group will continue to support the Women and Equalities Committee's inquiry into fathers in the workplace and campaign for change.