For years parents have campaigned for a change to the legislation around shared parental or maternity leave and as of the 5th April (2015) new legislation came into play. The Shared Parental Leave legislation is somewhat more complicated than the provisions previously in place however many have hailed the changes as positive ones for families.
The idea behind Shared Parenetal Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) is for it to make taking leave more flexible for families and to tailor their maternity / paternity leave around their own circumstances.
From April 5th parents will be able to share up to a maximum of 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay. For an indepth breakdown of ShPP and SPL as well as eligibility criteria more details may be found on the Gov.uk website here.
Changing stereotypes around parenting roles has meant that now parents may choose who is at home with the baby and when. The mother will take the minimum two weeks of post birth leave and after that she may take weeks or months, she might go back to work and the father take a stretch of leave to be at home or the father may extend the “normal” paternity leave of two weeks to spend a few more weeks at home. Indeed the possibilities are vast and the new regulations allow for parents to completely customise if you will their leave, their ShPP and their early months together with their newborn.
Maternity Leave Opinions
What do you think of Shared Paternal Leave? Do you feel that this is something that you and your family will benefit from or perhaps you feel that the previous system of only mothers having leave (outside of the two week paternity leave) was and is the better option?
Here at More4Mums we are seeing the changes as a positive move forward for parental equality. The truth of the matter is not all mums want to stay at home and there is nothing wrong with that. In the same way many fathers wish that they could take extra time to be with the new arrival during those early weeks and months, time as we all know goes very quickly.
While there are still some who harbour stereotypical views about what they feel mothers should do after birth the reality is that now, in 2015 things are changing. Many mothers will we presume still have the majority of leave however the main point here is that they, alongside their families now have the option to choose that as opposed to it being presumed.
Anything which gives parents more options and promotes flexibility is a plus point in our book.
What do you think? Would you share your maternity leave?