Shared parental leave is a crucial next step in developing family-friendly workplaces.
Any organisation that wants to attract and retain the best staff must recognise the significance of the legislation to its talent management strategy.
Shared parental leave should build on a bigger commitment to workplace agility, recognising employees’ needs and ensuring they can work in a way that supports them in managing their priorities inside and outside work.
For example, 50% of the requests for our Time Out arrangement, which is a four-week block of unpaid leave in addition to normal leave entitlement, which we introduced in June 2014, have come from men.
Over the last decade, we have seen the expectations of our staff (regardless of gender) change and, although remaining extremely hard-working and ambitious, they increasingly recognise the importance of prioritising family life.
It is this behavioural and cultural change that businesses must be aware of and adapt to.
By communicating their policy for shared parental leave now, organisations will give their employees time to understand and prepare for any impact it might have on the workplace.
I believe shared parental leave will encourage growth in the acceptance and adoption of agile working across the UK business community, with both fathers and mothers seeking to balance their family commitments with their careers. I am sure we will see this lead to a happier and, in turn, more productive workforce for those that get it right.
Emma Codd is managing partner for talent at Deloitte