Male employees are unlikely to take advantage of the new shared parental leave legislation because of a fear of being judged, according to research by Ramsdens Solicitors.
Its research, which questioned 520 employees, found that a third (33%) of male respondents at micro employers (with 10 employees or less) believe that taking the extended paternity leave would be judged negatively by fellow colleagues because others would have to pick up the workload.
But some 40% of respondents working for large organisations felt that they would be viewed indifferently and that their choice would be viewed positively (30%) by their fellow employees.
The research also found that 16% of respondents at micro employers would not be taking shared parental leave because they would feel uncomfortable having longer than two weeks off work.
In comparison, only 11% working for large organisations felt the same.
Furthermore, 25% of male employees working for micro-employers would feel unsupported by their managers, compared to only 5% at bigger firms.
Gareth Dando, head of employment at Ramsdens Solicitors, said: “Despite the government extending the right to request flexible working to all employees in 2014, and further changes being implemented in 2015 regarding both partners’ rights to take parental leave at the same time, males are still being dissuaded from taking their full paternity allowance, and it seems this may be down to the size of the organisation they work for.
“This view may be due to them understanding the pressures that their workplace would be under if they were to take more time off to help with childcare.”