On 5 April 2015, Shared Parental Leave (SPL) legislation will come into force in the UK.
The changes mean that maternity cover can be split between a mother and her partner or the father, giving them the chance to either take time off together to care for their child (beyond the current two weeks paternity leave that is currently available to fathers), or split the leave so that the mother can return to work, allowing the father or partner to spend additional quality time bonding and caring for their child.
When Rory was born, Sam went back to work after one week of paternity leave. On top of the fact that we couldn’t afford to live off statutory maternity and paternity pay for longer than one week, Sam was by far the main earner in our household, even if the new legislation had been in effect, it still would have been a no brainer that I would take the parental leave rather than him.
Although increased paternity leave is not something that our family would find advantageous, the important factor is that the change in legislation means more options overall, and there will be many families in the UK who will benefit from the extra flexibility. This new policy will give eligible parents, partners and adopters the flexibility to decide who will care for their child in the first year of its life.
Here is an infographic that gives you all the information you need on Shared Parental Leave: