picture of childcare worker and children in a daycare setting

British attitudes towards paid parental leave and childcare

Lizz Banks
Authored by Lizz Banks
Posted: Monday, January 31, 2022 - 22:02

Revealed: British attitudes towards paid parental leave and childcare

Parental leave and childcare considerations have a massive impact on parents, carers, employers, communities and most importantly, children's lives.

For that reason, Easy Offices surveyed 2,000 people across the UK asking how they felt about topics related to parental leave and childcare to ascertain what impacts these issues have on the lives of UK workers.

The survey revealed the top ten UK cities where parents have decided not to have children because childcare is too expensive were:

  1. London (24.1%)
  2. Birmingham (22.6%)
  3. Liverpool (20.9%)
  4. Manchester (19.9%)
  5. Glasgow (18.8%)
  6. Edinburgh (17.3%)
  7. Brighton (15.9%)
  8. Nottingham (15.1%)
  9. Leeds (14.9%)
  10. Sheffield (14.5%)

Around 1 in 6 (17%) are in agreement that the cost of childcare has forced potential parents to consider leaving work behind altogether.

The survey also revealed the top industries where parents are considering leaving their job because childcare is too expensive. These were Sales, Media and Marketing (35.2%), followed by Retail, Catering and Leisure (35.2%), Finance (34.7%), IT and Telecommunications (25.0%) and finally Travel and Transport (25.0%).

When choosing whether to have children, almost 1 in 5 (17.8%) of Brits say that although they would like children, they can’t afford to, which was most common for people living in or near Liverpool where almost 1 in 4 (24.4%) agreed. The cost of childcare is most likely a big factor in this, with 18% in the UK reporting childcare costs were a reason that they chose not to have a child.

Moreover, on average the survey revealed respondents would sacrifice 8.8% of their salary in exchange for parental perks. The proportion of salary that respondents would sacrifice for subsidised childcare increased with the salary band; at 7.4% for those earning less than £15k compared to 12.3% for those earning £65k.

Additionally, respondents believed mothers on average required the most time off for paid leave at 21.7 weeks. The average length of time respondents felt that fathers should have was 13.8 weeks and for adoptive parents, it was 17.5 weeks.

Finally, more women than men thought parents of all kinds should have more paid leave than men. For instance, women answered that mothers should be entitled to 24.5 weeks of paid leave on average, while male respondents thought they should get only 18.7 weeks.

Andy De Wet Steyn from Easy Offices said: “It was quite surprising to discover that despite the increasing equality in parental leave between the sexes, the UK public still believes mothers require more time off than fathers.

“Our research clearly highlights that childcare and parental leave issues have a significant impact on the lives of UK workers, with a large proportion of workers even considering leaving their job because of the price of childcare”


Other Parenting News articles for you

To read 'Don't miss out on up to £2000 towards childcare costs' click here

To read 'HMRC can help with childcare costs as children head back to school' click here 

To read 'Parent Startup raises £150,000 to prevent childcare frustrations and fragmented support' click here 

picture of teacher and children in a childcare setting

Cover photo and photo in article from Canva

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