xmlns:b='http://www.google.com/2005/gml/b' xmlns:data='http://www.google.com/2005/gml/data' xmlns:expr='http://www.google.com/2005/gml/expr' Shared Parental Leave | The Parent Game

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Shared Parental Leave

Shared Parental Leave is a new initiative being launched by the government in April this year. Following the birth of a baby, it allows parents a lot more flexibility to care for their new offspring together. This is something I wholeheartedly agree with. In principle. I think the idea that parents can be equally involved in the care of their child is long overdue and will go some way towards reflecting the 21st century position in this country; where it's near impossible for the average family to survive on one income and it's by no means unheard of for the woman to earn more than the man.

I am all in favour of any legislation that recognises this and also encourages fathers to play an active role in their new baby's life. It will have a positive impact on not just the father and child, but also the relationship between the two parents. It is often reported by new mums that they feel largely unsupported during those first few crucial months and dads can feel very frustrated that they are often powerless to do more to help. So that's all good. However...



When my son was born, I was very ill for a long time. I had Symphisis Pubis Dysfunction during the pregnancy, which worsened after my son was born. This meant, not only was I using crutches for months, I was also left with a permanent disability as a result. Particularly in the early days, I would have given anything to have more support at home and, equally, my husband would have loved to have spent more time with us, making sure we were ok. Unfortunately though, not all employers are the same. Although he was 'entitled' to two weeks off work, he was in a job relying on a 'skeleton crew'. Due to cutbacks and the need for bigger profits, the company no longer employed enough staff to cover holidays and sickness, so any leave, parental or otherwise, was not welcomed. My husband was made to feel guilty for taking his full entitlement and pressured to come back to work early, because there was no one to do his job. When he did go back, he was working up to 80 hours a week to catch up with the work he couldn't do while he was off. There are a rapidly increasing number of people who are on 'zero hour' contracts these days, where they are contracted for a very small number of hours and the rest of their working week is made up out of overtime. This throws up two potential problems. Firstly, Shared Parental Pay is paid at £138.18 per week, or 90% of your average weekly earnings, whichever is lower. So zero hour contracts, or part-time contracts, where the rest is made up in overtime, will presumably not be eligible. Further to this, though, zero-hour contracts pose a problem for employees where skeleton crews are employed, because if they can't afford to lose you and you take your entitlement anyway, you can find yourself working just your contracted hours on your return, leaving you with a massive hole in your pay packet. It's blackmail, but it happens.

In conclusion, as much as I fully respect and applaud what the government are trying to do, I hope they will remember those people who work full time to support their families, but due to know fault of their own, are not given the recognition or protection in employment that they deserve.
SHARE:

20 comments

  1. I wish they had this when I had my son. I am sorry to hear how ill you were when you had your son, shared parental leave would have been very useful for you then. However as you say more could be done for those on zero contract hours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mellissa. I can see it being advantageous for a lot of people. I just hope they find a way to make it fair.

      Delete
  2. I am sorry to hear you were ill after the birth of your son. I had SPD during my pregnancies but luckily it went away afterwards. I hope you are ok now xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think it is definitely an interesting idea, I guess when it comes to into affect we shall see how it works. x

    ReplyDelete
  4. I completely agree with you. It's a great idea in principle but in reality many workers will feel pressured and many small businesses will struggle to cope.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This sounds like a good option for those mums who are the breadwinner and for dads who want to be more involved on the day to day

    ReplyDelete
  6. sorry tohear the torubles frm your pregnancy, my friend had and still has this but im pleased that they have decided shared is a good option for those who may need it

    ReplyDelete
  7. I totally agree with your points. It's a good idea in theory but whether it will work in real life could be a different matter xx

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yeh seen they have been on about this, with had it with my two.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I totally agree with you. A great idea in principle but will the pressure on workers be too much?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm really sorry that you and your family have had such a tough time. It's good that the government are doing something to improve parental leave but, as you say, many people still find it very difficult to take leave at all.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am totally with you on this .. I am a sufferer of acute PSD .. that i have had now for 5 years and am down to have my pelvis pinned and plated to help in the coming years .. it really is debilitating ... my husband only got 2 weeks and i struggled in pain .. although i still do

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think it is an excellent idea so parents can manage their time better.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I also think it is a good idea and seeming quite sensible too x

    ReplyDelete
  14. I had SPD too and not nearly as bad as you so I really feel for you, I agree and think all parents want support from their other half if they can.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I think SPD is a great idea. I took all the time I could with both my boys.

    ReplyDelete
  16. It's pretty good idea but there is so much more to do when it comes to maternity leave

    ReplyDelete
  17. Looks like it's a good idea! I'm yet to experience it :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I think it really depends on the dynamics of a family and the career objectives of both parents. This would suit many a family, but when I stop and think about it, it wouldn't have worked for us. That being said, it's only right that it should be shared and the principles behind it are spot on. It should be down to the couple how they approach it and not have it dictated to them.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Personally it wouldn't work for us and the fact that it is unpaid means it is unworkable for those who are low paid but its a start

    ReplyDelete

© The Parent Game. All rights reserved.
MINIMAL BLOGGER TEMPLATES BY pipdig