The shared parental leave (SPL) scheme was introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014 giving employees who are parents a new, more flexible way to take leave in the first year after the birth of a child or the placement of a child with them for adoption.  Since it was introduced however, there seems to have been an exceedingly small level of take up 'on the ground' (with the exception perhaps of several of my employment lawyer colleagues!).  There are some great elements to the scheme, and it's overall intentions are really positive, so why the lack of take up?  In my view, it's because the scheme is so complex that it's completely impenetrable.  If we really want to close the gender pay gap and stop maternity leave acting as a career inhibitor for women therefore then schemes like this one from Aviva strike me as a fantastic idea - lets hope the government takes note!