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Should parents be able to pass on their parental leave entitlement to grandparents?

(45 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 11-Mar-13 16:43:27


There's a bit of a campaign going on to change the law, so that parents can pass on some of their parental leave to grandparents.

So, if grandparents wanted to look after a new grandchild for say the second six months of his or her life, they'd be entitled to take time off from their workplace to do that.

Good idea?

Would you find this useful? And, given that we are all being encouraged to stay in work longer, would it be useful for grandparents?

Do please let us know your thoughts here. And you'd be most welcome to join the Gransnet discussion about it, too!

BackforGood Mon 11-Mar-13 16:46:27

I don't think so, no - where would it end ? Any employee taking time off, saying it is to care for their niece or nephew / Great Niece / should you allow God Children ? / What about Gaurdians ? Surely you only volunteer to look after a relative's child if you are available, I can't see Grandparents who are still at work doing this, personally.

Kewcumber Mon 11-Mar-13 16:50:18

I'm anti at this stage - we haven't yet seen how flexibility between parents will work in practice yet. With parents it is clearly a good idea which we must make work. The same for grandparents isn't so clear - I might be persuaded otherwise if I see both parents taking time out to be with their child and it working well. I can see the admin burden on small firms getting a bit overwhelming tbh.

TheSeniorWrangler Mon 11-Mar-13 17:03:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CwtchesAndCuddles Mon 11-Mar-13 17:12:08

No - I think it is a very bad idea.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 11-Mar-13 17:19:45

Just having a look at this thread now.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 11-Mar-13 17:20:29

oops sorry, ignore me, wrong thread!

ThreeWheelsGood Mon 11-Mar-13 17:31:04

This is a great idea. My dh and I already earn more than our respective parents, but we want our baby to be looked after by us or family for as long as possible (rather than nursery, can't afford childminder/nanny). So we'd love for - say - my mum to take some of my maternity leave.

Tee2072 Mon 11-Mar-13 17:34:49

Anyone else wondering what we're missing elsewhere on site based on Justine's post?

I don't like this idea. But then I don't like the split between parents idea either, since, typically, a man makes more than a woman and therefore I feel the 'split it' idea is a bone thrown, not an actual achievable goal.

This feels a bit the same.

yousankmybattleship Mon 11-Mar-13 17:36:07

No. Parents need to be parents - that isn't something can be passed on. You may lose earnings when your baby is tiny, but that is part of becoming a parent.

starshaker Mon 11-Mar-13 17:38:15

My mum got 2 weeks paid leave when i had the twins. Needed to fill lots of forms and stuff but because i was on my own the paternity leave was given to her

Cherrybright Mon 11-Mar-13 17:48:45

I don't think that its a good idea, like yousank said parents need to be parents.

NotADragonOfSoup Mon 11-Mar-13 17:51:44

No, I don't think it's a good idea. Either use your parental leave or forfeit it.

The line needs to be drawn somewhere and, IMO, the clue is in the name: Parental leave.

janey68 Mon 11-Mar-13 19:03:19

Two people decide to have a child: the parents, and it should be their responsibility to make decisions about leave and childcare. I think the split leave between mum and dad is a fabulous idea and long overdue- both parents are equally capable of caring for their child. But to start involving extended family is daft. I am all for close family relationships and lots of love between grandparents and grandkids but this proposal sounds like an abdication of parental responsibility. Let the grandparents do what they choose, and are available to do.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 11-Mar-13 19:06:46

It sounds daft to me. Parents have enough leave to do it between them if they want to.

I'm all for grandparent support, but they are grandparents, not parents, and they shouldn't have this kind of pressure put on them, which I think it would be if it were to become law. I think it could also lead to pressure from women's employers as they might be led to thinking that full maternity entitlement doesn't need to be taken.

NatashaBee Mon 11-Mar-13 19:09:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Flisspaps Mon 11-Mar-13 19:20:09

One word, no.

annh Mon 11-Mar-13 19:35:50

Whose campaign is this? Is this real?! Why stop at grandparents? Where babies have much older siblings, or more likely step- or half-siblings, why not allow them to take some of the leave as well? And what about grandparents who really don't want to look after their grandchild but feel pressurised to do so because they are now allowed to take time off work?

squeakytoy Mon 11-Mar-13 20:12:41

crazy idea!

MammaTJ Mon 11-Mar-13 20:28:59

I don't think my DCs GPs would want to, and even those who would, would not need it as they are retired.

xMinerva Mon 11-Mar-13 20:53:16

I think it could be very helpful to a single working parent who needs to be back at work to support their family being the only earner.

Not sure if it would work though. What if single parent (or indeed both parents) don't have any grandparents around? Would they be able to pass it onto a sister/brother/god parent etc etc.

It is a good idea in theory, don't think it will work in reality.

janey68 Mon 11-Mar-13 21:16:52

I also think an unintended consequence of this idea would
Be to erode fathers rights and set them back. The chance for leave to be split- eg mum taking first 6 months and then dad the next 6 has been hard fought. If we had a situation where suddenly granny can take the second 6 months instead of dad, I think we'd soon
See dads being pressured into keeping on working
because Grannys job is seen as less important. It's this sort of
Thinking which keeps women down and stops them
Being seen as equal in the workplace and dads being equal in the home. And as others have said, where do you draw the line? Some
parents might not be geographically or emotionally close to the grandparents but might have a close friend or godparent who they would prefer looking after the child. Would they be given that right?

And ultimately it doesn't change the fact that if parents work they will need to sort out childcare... Whether its mum
Taking a whole year off, or mum having 6 months and then dad having 6, or mum having 6 and then granny having 6, the parents will need to find a childminder or nursery when the leave is up. It all seems to point to greater numbers of people having their career disrupted. I took maternity leaves when I had MY children... I can't see my boss being thrilled if in ten years time I take a whole load of granny leave.

ceeveebee Mon 11-Mar-13 21:34:30

I agree with janey. I think it may mean that many men would pass over their rights to parental leave so that DM/MIL could have it instead. However I think in the case of a lone parent, it could be beneficial.

If they want to encourage women to work, Government needs to find ways of reducing the cost of childcare which is prohibitive for many families - for my twins to be in full time nursery care would cost £42,000 p.a. round here and would come out of our net salaries so need to earn £70-£80k just for that - ridiculous and unaffordable for most

Jcee Mon 11-Mar-13 21:40:16

Really? How daft! Surely parental leave should be just that...

Astley Mon 11-Mar-13 21:49:23

No. Silly idea. These things would never end, we'd end up with our neighbours, second cousins dog taking parental leave.

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