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Shared Parental Leave consultation - tell the Government what you think

(30 Posts)
MylinhMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 09-Apr-13 16:10:05


Shared parental leave - who should be eligible, and how should it work in practice?

We've been asked to take a look at the Government's consultation on shared parental leave, which will enable working parents to share leave and pay between them around the birth of the child. The consultation details administrative proposals, including:

1) Eligibility criteria for shared parental leave
2) Whether to align notice periods to inform employers of a father's intention to take paternity leave and pay
3) Notice to bring to an end maternity leave, and give rise to shared parental leave
4) How employment protections on the right to return to the same job should apply to shared parental leave
5) How notification to employers will work with the new 'fostering for adoption' arrangements

If you've experience or thoughts on how the new proposals should work, we (and no doubt the Government!) would love to hear it. You can read the full consultation here and submit your response by filling out this quick-response survey. Or, as ever, feel free to post your views in this thread.

The Government has also said it is keen to ensure that the new system works for employers, as well as employees. With this in mind, the Gov has asked employment relations experts Acas to produce a Code of Practice for employers to supplement the new policy. You can engage with this consultation (here)

Many thanks

Trills Fri 12-Apr-13 10:04:49

I am inclined to think that 4 weeks for both parents at full pay, followed by discretion in how families choose to take it up after that, might be the way forward.

I agree with Boff here, and with Dahlen saying

If men are around during those first weeks, they are far more likely to become primary carers or joint carers.

lightsandshapes Fri 12-Apr-13 13:35:40

I think we need to protect women from being forced back to work too early. Already we are asked to be it al and do it all, however we still do disproportionately more at home in terms of cleaning, cooking, night waking, and the lot. Men need to change as much as women have for thus to work. I don't feel, as a whole, they have so far. A recipe for female exhaustion IMHO sad

slightlysoupstained Fri 12-Apr-13 15:40:44

lightsandshapes the risk is that "protecting" women from being forced back to work too early is also preventing men from getting involved as equal parents, and basically treating women as if they are not adults who can assert themselves, but little children who need protection at the cost of some freedom of choice.

I agree with Boff's suggestion, 4 weeks for both parents at full pay, followed by discretion in how families choose to take it up after that.

janey68 Fri 12-Apr-13 17:11:40

I think there are various potential risks. It's not just about dads 'forcing' mums back to work- there is a risk that some mothers might see
It as a threat to their entitlement and discourage dad from having his turn. The bf issue is a red herring I believe. If mothers choose to bf for a year or more they will do it, and if they want to put them on a bottle from day 1 they'll do it. I returned to work much earlier than a year and bf until my kids were 2. The central issue here should be the Children, and it's brilliant for it to be possible for dads to be more involved .

janey68 Fri 12-Apr-13 18:35:39

I meant to add, I think it would be really wrong to base policy on what the risks might be in the worst case scenario, ie: it would be awful to say we shouldn't have shared leave because some dads might push women back to work too soon, or some mums might be possessive about the leave and not let dad get a look in
For a start, if a relationship is bad it's going to be bad anyway, not because of legislation (as others have pointed out in the philpott example)
Policy should be based on what is equitable and in the best interests of most people. If families want mum to take the entire 12 months leave before returning to work, they still have that option. If they want to split it equally between the two parents, they have that option. This is about broadening choices. That's a good thing for children, mums and dads.

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