We no longer live in a society where men expect women to stay at home and look after the children while they go out and earn the money.
In fact, only 22 per cent of people in the UK still cling to this old fashioned view of gender roles, with even more men than women now desiring an even split of responsibilities – 56 per cent of men would like to share childcare, compared to 50 per cent of women.
The shift in attitudes was revealed by a survey carried out by the government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and it indicates the change will become even more noticeable with the next generation – for men considering having children in the future, 83 per cent said they would like to share parental leave.
It also reveals how much young dads of the past wish they were given the opportunity to spend more time with their children – 75 per cent of current fathers said they would have liked to take parental leave it was made available to them at the time.
“Parenting is a shared endeavour and couples want more flexibility when they are adapting to the demands of a new baby,” said employment relations minister Jo Swinson.
The findings come ahead of the introduction of a scheme being introduced by the government in April this year, called Shared Parental Leave.
The new rules mean parents can split 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay between them in the baby’s first year. They also let parents suggest a flexible pattern of leave to their employer and allows for up to three separate blocks of leave, but employers can agree to more.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg commented:
This Edwardian notion that women should stay at home while men go out and support the family has simply no place in this day and age. We need a modern Britain and a fair society that works for families, not against them.We know that mums and dads want more flexibility and choice when it comes to juggling their home and work lives and we're listening and taking action.