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The Government has spent £1.5m on a campaign to make sure parents know they can take leave to share the special moments with their child in their baby’s first year, by taking Shared Parental Leave.
Every year, around 285,000 couples are eligible to take Shared Parental Leave. However, take up could be as low as 2%, and half of the general public are unaware the option exists for parents.
Introduced in 2015, Shared Parental Leave is a workplace right for eligible parents and aims to offer them choice when it comes to childcare. Parents can share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay after having a baby. They can take time off separately or they can be at home together for up to 6 months. Mums can return to work sooner if they wish, dads can have more time to spend and bond with their baby.
Leila Reyburn and Tom Markwell work for charities in London. They had a baby girl, Pearl, in 2016 and decided to take Shared Parental Leave with Leila taking the first 10 months, and Tom taking the final 2 months.
“Shared Parental Leave meant I could say yes when the opportunity came for me to take a promotion at work. I could go back to work early to cover for my line manager while he was on secondment.
“But it was also nice that I didn’t have to put Pearl in nursery at the same time and know she was bonding with her Dad. It means she now has a strong connection with us both and is equally attached to us both.”
Employers can also reap the benefits as flexibility in work is proven to create happier, more loyal and more productive workforces. This is a vital part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy – a long-term plan to build a Britain fit for the future by helping businesses create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the UK. The policy can also contribute to closing their gender pay gap.
See if you are eligible, by visitingwww.gov.uk/sharetheleaveand talk to your employer today.
Other articles published in our June 2018 newsletter:
Other articles about fathers:
Other articles about family-friendly working: