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To ask if you think Shared Parental Leave is bull***t?

(23 Posts)
Mitchell50 Thu 02-Feb-17 15:54:47

I was one of the first to ask for SPL in my company. My husband WAS the first dad in his...and after an initially warm reception, once his employer worked out the terms, they made sure that it really didn't work for us.

They made my husband take all his 'enhanced leave' in the first 20 weeks of my daughter's life which didn't help AT ALL.

Our ideal scenario would have allowed me to go back to work (after 8 months) whilst my husband took over for 4-6 weeks with my daughter before she went into childcare. As it was, we had to hang out together...and he's great and all that but it was not the best use of full paid time.

I really want to hear about other's experiences? Did you make it work or get shafted? Would better guidelines from government help?

Scrumptiousbears Thu 02-Feb-17 15:59:21

We were going to go for this until DP realised how hard it was having a baby and a 2.5 year old. He backed out.

Astoria7974 Thu 02-Feb-17 16:01:04

Mine only lets the other partner take the leave within their ordinary maternity leave time frame - so if both of us worked there - it must be within the first 22 weeks. Dh's company only allows the other partner to share leave during the enhanced period but it's unpaid.

SomethingBorrowed Thu 02-Feb-17 16:01:12

I don't understand, how do you know your DH's employer did it to make sure it didn't work for you? As he ended up taking the leave anyway it doesn't make any difference for the employer, so could it have been because of another constraint (other employees having long time leave for ex)?

Please don't take this as an attack, I am just trying to understand

DeviTheGaelet Thu 02-Feb-17 16:01:21

We made it work but that was before the new rules - so he took my AML.
Surprised his company could force him to take it at a specific time TBH.
In fact I just Googled it and I'm not the wiser.
It may be your partner has a discrimination case m.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4911

Cynara Thu 02-Feb-17 16:03:41

We did it, but it was quite easy because we have the same employer and do the same job on the same grade, so we're interchangeable as far as work is concerned. I took 9 months maternity leave, then went back to wotk full time while DP took 3 months. It was great and we'll probably do it again if we have DC2. Work were absolutely fine about it, but as I say that could have been because it made no difference to them which one of us turned up.

sotiredbutworthit Thu 02-Feb-17 16:03:48

My husband took the first 2 months off with me! It was fab and no real issues, we work for the NHS though so maybe that was why?

MissClimpsonsTypingBureau Thu 02-Feb-17 16:07:52

We're about to do it - 6 months for me, 4 for DH. Both his work and mine have been v accommodating with dates, but his haven't given him any enhanced pay at all (while they have a pretty good maternity package) so he's on SMP until what would have been week 39 of my mat leave and then unpaid. We were both the first to ask for ShPL where we work.

wejammin Thu 02-Feb-17 16:12:30

We did it with DS because at the time I was the higher earner. I went back to work after 6 months and DH took the last 4 months. Since then we've both worked flexibly and when DD was born DH was earning more so we couldn't afford for him to take the extra leave, but he already had time off each week so it worked out nicely.
We both have different employers (although are both solicitors) and were both the 1st in each company to ask to use shared parental leave, DH was met with some resistance but in the end they backed down.

brokenheartdog Thu 02-Feb-17 16:18:27

My only worry with shared parental leave is in domestic violence situations especially where recovery time with sections and such is concerned.

I can image if it had existed when I had mine that then h would have forced me into work too soon so he could sit on his backside at home playing computer games and not looking after the kids properly.

Other than those situations I think it is great.

Camomila Thu 02-Feb-17 16:19:14

It seems it's your DHs employer that's been rubbish, rather than the concept of shared parental leave.

Of my NCT group 2 of the families shared parental leave and it worked out fine. One did mum for first 6 months, then dad for next 3 and the other did birth mum for 9 months and non-birth mum for 3 so both back at work when baby turns 1.

I think it's a really good idea in principle but it wouldn't have worked for us because DH earns significantly more than me plus I'm still breastfeeding and I didn't want to have to faff with expressing or worry about how quickly weaning is going to get him just having food and water by a set date.

Mammylamb Thu 02-Feb-17 16:20:58

I think your husbands employer made a mistake. He should have been allowed to choose when he took the parental leave; it is not up for his company to decide that.

CheerfulMuddler Thu 02-Feb-17 16:24:14

I'm self-employed so it doesn't work for us. Because I don't have an employee I get Maternity Allowance instead of Statutory Maternity Pay. My husband cannot share this: either I get the Maternity Allowance or we get nothing.

I am not amused. Think DH is rather relieved!

HaPPy8 Thu 02-Feb-17 16:34:43

I thought it was the same everywhere that the enhanced bit had to be taken in the first few weeks?

EnormousTiger Thu 02-Feb-17 16:41:15

It works for some. I think it's a very positive step.

I earned 10x my children's father andp lenty of women earn so much more than their man these days it makes sense for men to take time off and take the financial hit if indeed either of you wants and needs to.

I am now self employed so not relevant to me and my children are teenagers however so it's all too late.

Mitchell50 Thu 02-Feb-17 17:03:09

That's really interesting Enormous T. Do you think most people are using it if they earn more than their partner?

Mitchell50 Thu 02-Feb-17 17:04:06

Happy8 - we were told that is was up to the employers when to offer the enhanced section... I should have checked at the time

EnormousTiger Thu 02-Feb-17 20:48:29

Some statistics put out about not many men taking it were debunked by a statistics service as they had been based on all men of a particular age range including those with no children with was very silly.

The basic issues are even women mostly only get 6 weeks at 90% pay and then it drops off a cliff for all except the very low paid so we don't really have particularly generous maternity rights. In fact with 5 babies I never even once qualified for the 90% pay!

For those rich enough to take a lot of time off or those with a generous employer you tend to find women still earn less than the men they choose. they may not realise it but they tend to marry good providers who are older - they still marry up even if they are well paid women. I didn't but I'm the exception not the rule. So that tends to mean as ever the lower earner takes the time off.

My own personal view is that long leaves can damage careers but they ought not to - if yuou are going to have good work from someone for 20 years one year or 6 months when they are not there is not a big deal. On the other hand if someone is there for 6 years and 3 of those they are not there they will have 3 years of legal experience or experience doing operations, not 6 years and you cannot pretend in many careers that that doesn't matter.

EmeraldIsland Thu 02-Feb-17 21:04:27

I think it's the employer at fault not the leave policy. As far as i'm aware, employers aren't allowed to dictate when the shared leave/pay is taken, just within 52 weeks of birth.

We're due dc3 in May and will be using SPL. I'll be taking 8 months off then going back to work and dh will take the last 4 months off.

imisschocolate Thu 02-Feb-17 22:05:11

We looked into this before deciding that i would take the full year.

I was sure that the rules were that only one parent could be off at a time but could be taken in 3 blocks. Paywise entitlement was same as maternity eg 6 weeks at 90%, 33 at statutory and rest unpaid unless entitled to enhanced.

Mitchell50 Thu 02-Feb-17 22:22:13

I was surprised that the employer could push all of the paid element to the beginning of the leave and in answer to an earlier post I think in our case they did engineer this as a deterrent. I mean they knew that most people would want to use it at the end of the mother's leave and therefore pushing you to take it at the beginning makes it less useful and you are less likely to decide that your partner should take a prolonged absence.

Mitchell50 Thu 02-Feb-17 22:24:59

I have to go and attend to the DD1 now but I'm really interested to hear other thoughts and feeling slightly regretful that I called SPL 'bullshit' - I think it could be great but there are definitely loopholes for employers at the mo

playg Thu 02-Feb-17 22:26:41

YANBU. Dh asked his work for it and they said no. They begrudged him his 2 weeks off tbh.

It's insanely complicated too, tried looking up the rules and couldn't even work out if we should qualify for it as I hadn't qualified for statutory maternity pay because I was 12 weeks pregnant when I started work so only qualified for the Maternity Allowance. Actually I couldn't even work out if shared parental leave was something you had a right to, or something the employer was okay to just say no to.

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