Shared Parental Peeve

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  1. James

    Great article.

    My first is about 6 weeks away from arrival and my wife and I looked into SPL. Unfortunately, while my employer was only too keen to accommodate my request and offered a package that was pretty close to their maternity package; my wife’s employer (a major public sector employer) complied only to the letter of the law and offered only statutory minimum pay. The result of this is that we as a household simply cannot afford to take SPL at the start of our child’s life.

    While the legislation is a major step in the right direction, a culture change is needed to make SPL the norm rather than the exception. It’s a shame the public sector (or at least part of it) missed the opportunity to be trailblazers.

    • Dave H

      What wasn’t explained to me very well at the start of my 9 months of SPL was that my wife could take standard maternity leave for x weeks before curtailing it, leaving the remainder as SPL. You wouldn’t get time off in those precious first weeks but this would at least allow you to both have some leave while reducing the financial impact of taking SPL from the very start.

      Search Google for “Ending maternity or adoption leave and pay to create shared parental leave and pay” there should be a pdf near the to giving a technical guide to parental leave.

      • David Bradburn

        Great heads up Dave H. Yeah i agree, you really need to dig deep and make sure you have covered everything with SPL.

        It’s still relatively new, and not many people fully understand it 100%. My employer was pretty good on my end, whereas we had a little bother with my partners – all down to the fact that they weren’t fully clued up about it.

    • David Bradburn

      Fully agree James.

      In fact today i was talking to a friend who’s wife is a teacher and she isn’t eligible for SPL. I find it very strange how someone with a profession which deals with children, aren’t allowed to take part in such as scheme!

      Hopefully if you have another, it may have changed by then :)

  2. Neill

    My son was born November 2015 and we were fortunate to be able to do the SPL. We were the first in our works to do this.

    My wife took the first 9 months and I have done the last 3 months. This has been an amazing experience for me and I have bonded really well with my son.

    However, it also has its problems. When I came off work and my wife went back to her work, this was around the time my son developed social anxiety. As he was with me all the time it was me he wanted to go to all the time. My son has a better attachment to me than he does with his mum. When he is really upset he won’t settle for his mum but as soon as I hold him he calms down. This is great feeling for me but it upsets my wife and she now regrets agreeing to the SPL and wished she took the full 12 months.

    She feels resentful that I am with him all the time and she is missing out on his development. It has got so bad that she doesn’t feel like a mum.

    Even though my bond with my son is amazing it has had a bad experience for his mum and she struggles with this. Even though his attachment is likely to change again at some point she doesn’t think so and it is putting a strain on our relationship.

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