An unexpected benefit of Shared Parental Leave

Shared Parental Leave is a funny old thing (SPL). When it was introduced, I had high hopes new dads and mums would instantly see the benefits and leap at the opportunity to spend time with their offspring following the arrival of a baby. It quickly became clear the introduction of SPL in the UK was going to be evolutionary, not revolutionary.

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Take up of Shared Parental Leave could be better, but has it led to more discussion and a positive shift in attitudes towards fatherhood?
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Where are the positive fatherhood role models from UK PLC?

I want you to think of the world of business and commerce. I’m not talking small and medium sized businesses, I mean big companies from UK PLC, those in the FTSE 100. I’m now going to set you a challenge. Can you name one male figure from the world of big business who has taken a period of shared parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child? You can’t? Me neither.

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How many men employed at board level in the UK’s biggest companies have set an example for employees by taking shared parental leave? I went on a quest to find out.
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The Interchangeable Parent and what happens when dad does the childcare

The world has gone mad for shared parental leave (SPL). Thanks to the Government’s #sharetheleave campaign and the Women and Equalities Committee’s intervention, SPL has been making the headlines a great deal recently.

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What exactly happens when a man becomes the main carer for his kids? Research from Surrey University shines a light on what can happen and I found it enlightening and worrying in equal measures. It seems dads sometimes need help to become truly interchangable parents.

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The problem with shared parental leave: No ring-fenced leave for dads

I was minding my own business early yesterday morning, my head full of ideas to entertain my kids on the first day of the half-term break from school. I then spotted a news story on the BBC website. Had I been eating cornflakes at the time I’d have spat them out over my computer monitor in surprise. The news story, you see, was about the Government going on a charm offensive to encourage more men to take shared parental leave.

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Want to encourage more men to take shared parental leave? Well ring-fence some of the leave, and provide it to them on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis.

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Parental leave benefits: Shouldn’t they be equal?

The introduction of shared parental leave was never going to be easy because it requires a huge shift in the UK’s working culture. A couple of years down the line, the law of unintended consequences seems to have come into play causing a hiccup or two.

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Congratulation, you have a baby on the way. The lack of equitable benefits may make the early years tougher, not easier. Pic credit: Jacob Postuma on Unsplash

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