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.View Post
I can’t pretend otherwise, it took me a long time to come around to the idea of both International Women’s Day and International Men’s Day. I found them to be slightly vague concepts and at times the debates they have created have been off-putting.
This International Men’s Day, I’m doing something a bit special. You may find me gracing your small screen at some point as I feature in a video recorded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission to encourage men to consider flexible working.
There’s no doubt in my mind the UK’s Shared Parental Leave (SPL) system could be improved. Nonetheless, for some couples it works very well.
Earlier this summer I published this article, written by dad Hamish Reid. He had taken SPL previously and with his wife expecting another child, was gearing up to go on leave again. It was enlightening hearing about Hamish’s positive experiences, but what of his wife Vanessa? I asked if she would be kind enough to write something explaining what she thought of having Hamish around in the early months following the birth of their latest addition. Here’s what Vanessa had to say (and please do also read this article from Nicola Gilroy who explains how SPL benefited her family).
Dad has a job and is the main earner for the family. Dad’s industry becomes ever more competitive and he has to make a greater effort to earn the same amount of money, while also balancing this with fatherhood. After a while, it becomes a bit much. What does he do?