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why does parental leave end when your child reaches 5yrs..?

(6 Posts)
pictsie Sat 28-May-11 10:51:41

(haven't posted for absolutely ages...coming back with a rant haha...)

so...my little boy turns 5 this summer...and apparently this signifies the end of any entitlement to parental leave...which seems rather odd...are the dwp not aware of the 13 weeks/year of holiday schools tend to have..? not to mention the added inset days...

i am very fortunate in that i have an extremely understanding and flexible job; my hours can be rejigged at the last minute and i have, at a pinch, taken him in with me for short shifts...so although i have no official parental leave after he turns 5, i should be able to turn it into an interesting juggling trick...

his dad, however, does not work for nice people...we are separated, and i've asked him if he can help out with the school summer holidays - i've maxed out all my holiday and leave allowance, and physically can't take anymore time off as other staff have booked holiday too...he has told me he can't take any time off or they'll fire him...i asked him why he worked for such a mean company...he is now livid with me...whoops...

i don't even know if i dare suggest he help me pay for the school's childcare scheme, at £20/day he is going to freak out haha...

so i started researching parental leave a bit more, and i really couldn't believe it when i realised that it ends when your child reaches 5...

does this not seem wrong to anyone else..? i appreciate the employment sector would probably completely dispair of the idea of around a third of their staff vanishing for a quarter of the year, but why aren't there more options..? childcare is expensive, and my wonderfully flexible job really doesn't pay much...his grandparents still work, and tbh i feel cheeky expecting free childcare from people who clearly already had to deal with all this when i was at young...(my mother worked as a TA, i can see why now haha)

does anyone have any helpful ideas or rants they want to vent on this issue..?

BeehiveBaby Sat 28-May-11 10:54:54

I know, it's stupid, we're going to be using DD3's PL to cover DD1 and 2's hols next summer.

RibenaBerry Sat 28-May-11 12:10:02

I can understand how difficult it is (my kids aren't quite that age yet, but I'm starting to have to think about it), but I think you're focusing on the wrong issue.

Parental leave is 13 weeks in total, not per year, so even if you could use it past 5 it wouldn't help cover many school holidays. And employers can limit that use to 4 weeks in a year. It is really designed for one off times when a parent may want or need to be at home - for example after a child has surgery, or a new sibling, or is settling into a new school or to cover a gap between childcare provision.

I also don't think, quite frankly, that it would be fair to businesses to give parents the right to work term time only 'through the back door' .You can put in a flexible working request to ask for term time hours, but the reason not many of those requests get agreed is that it's really hard for businesses to manage. I think that the answer lies in better holiday childcare at more affordable prices. The lack of that provision is really the scandal, and it seems to be way down the list of priorities.

StillSquiffy Sat 28-May-11 12:35:51

Every other country in the world manages. The only reason we don't is because we have huge amounts of 'odd' school holidays that many other countries don't and because we do not have adequate and affordable holiday schemes in place.

In the US you only get 10 days holiday and no parental leave.

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 28-May-11 13:31:42

If you have no childcare costs in term time, surely only having to pay for the summer holidays is great anyway - most parents have to pay weekly and many work for very little in ther early years as they know its part of the cost of choosing to have a child.

Employees already get holidays, the right to request flexible working etc - there has to be some limit as it all impacts on employers which people seem to forget about and just see what they want personally.

MovingAndScared Sat 28-May-11 13:36:44

this might give you a few ideas for helping covering the costs

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/family/childcare-costs

Could you child swap a bit - ie take a friends child one day and they take your another?

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