Thursday, 4 September 2014

Have You Heard About Shared Parental Leave?

Have you heard about Shared Parental Leave?

Here in the UK if you child is born or adopted after the 5th of April 2015 you may be able to benefit from the new maternity / parental leave scheme that is coming into play!

While this may not be relevant to all our lovely readers or indeed us we thought it was such great news that we would share it as it is a change that anyone even thinking of becoming parents here in the UK should know about!

We think this is definitely a positive change for parents and kids alike, raising a kid should be a joint venture never left to one parent and should we ever have children I know that Laura and I would both bring very different attributes to the table so sharing leave is an ideal solution.

Having heard about this earlier in the year we had done a bit of research prior to today's announcement and couldn't believe how soon it was actually happening. The change comes with an aim to create a culture change for families and for employers focusing on flexibility that will benefit everyone, while allowing both parents to have an increased input into raising the child should they wish. All good things right?!

The starting point is of course the eligibility so here's the highlights:
      To qualify for Shared Parental Leave (SPL), you must share care of the child with either: 

     You must also:
  •       Have been employed continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week  before the due date (or by the date you are matched with your adopted child)
  •       Be employed by the same employer while you take SPL
  •       Your partner’s eligibility
During the 66 weeks before the baby is due your partner must:
  •       Have been working for at least 26 weeks (which can be discontinuous) - they can be employed, self-employed or an agency worker
  •       Have earned at least £30 a week on average in 13 of the 66 weeks

52 weeks to share - amazing! Laura and I have always said if we do have kids (it's a long ongoing debate that has ended with a on that another time!!) we would want to split the first year allowing us both to bond with the baby as well as share the task of going to work. So this plan will help us do exactly that. Of course a few of the details will depend on our employers but that's always been the case.

On the website you can check out all the exact details and this example is just one way that they explain:

The other good thing is the inclusion of Shared parental leave in touch (SPLIT) days in addition to the 10 ‘keeping in touch’ (or KIT) days already available to those on maternity or adoption leave. It allows you and your partner can both work up to 20 days during Shared Parental Leave. These are called ‘shared parental leave in touch’ (or SPLIT) days. Catching and kinda does what it says in the acronym.

For anyone wanting to know more check out the website or there is a free online guide here! 

And here's a real-life case study I came across that I think sums it up, the fact that the lady in the example works in my industry is a coincidence but it explains the way it works perfectly for me:

Real life case study from: Government News

Hannah is a Senior Project Manager in the e-learning industry and her husband Chris works for the Civil Service. When their son Euan was born they decided to split their leave entitlement. Hannah returned to work on a 4.5 day week when Euan was 8 months old at which point Chris took 7 weeks of additional maternity support leave to look after Euan. Both Hannah and Chris feel that sharing leave has been a very positive experience for themselves and their son.
Hannah said that knowing Euan was at home with Chris was very reassuring when she returned to work:
Chris and I felt that this would be one of the few opportunities we would get to spend an extended period of time with Euan before he started school. Going back to work it was nice for me to know that Euan was with Chris rather than going straight into childcare and when I returned to work we were able to meet up for lunches as a family which was great. Sharing leave is something we’ll definitely do again.
Chris said that having father and baby time together during the period of leave he took was very special:
During the 7 weeks I had with Euan we were able to take part in a range of activities like swimming, music and baby sensory sessions. It was brilliant to have that father and baby time together. It’s something very special and I felt that both Euan and I gained a lot from it. I’d really recommend it to any other dads-to-be."

1 comment:

  1. That is so awesome!! The U.S. has so much to learn when it comes to parental leave!!
    Hope you guys take advantage of this one day. :)


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