Why you should be interested in the shared parental leave scheme

I was reading an article in the Evening standard and came across two-page spread detailing stories of fathers and mothers who had taken shared parental leave from work after giving birth. The article also mentioned that there is a scarcity of parents that are taking advantage of the scheme in Britain, which has been around since April 2015.

Shared parental leave (SPL) allows both mother and father or adoptive parents to choose how they want to share time off when a new baby is born. This scheme allows more flexibility when it comes to the care of the child.

Mums who want to spend less time on their maternity leave often opt for SPL as it enables them to get back into work a lot sooner than when taking the standard maternity leave.

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Some of the parents who have taken SPL have made some smart decisions with their leave.  They have chosen to take a ‘Familymoon’ vacation to sunny locations galore.  Exotic and sunny locations such as South Africa, are just one of the many locations visited by families who have taken part in the scheme.

In my previous workplace I joined a happy throng of work colleagues to send off a man who took part in the scheme. I remember the big beam of a smile he had on his face. He seemed happy to be taking the time off so he could bond more with his new baby.

According to reports by Family Friendly Care, only 40% of individuals say that SPL is encouraged by their employer. 57% of women also said that taking part in the scheme will affect their partner’s career.

If you are expecting a new baby, take time to read more about shared parental leave. If it is something you want to do with your partner take the time to do a lot of research around it and find out what is available to you.

Steps to take if you want to take part in the SPL scheme:

  1. Find out if SPL is encouraged by both your employers
  2. Work out if this is something that will not set you back financially
  3. Work out if this is something that will not set your partner back in their career.

Find out more information about SPL from the following websites: