On Thursday 4 December 2014, the NCT’s London office is hosting a live Q & A session to discuss the new Shared Parental Leave legislation with Jo Swinson, a working mum, and the MP for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs. Follow the discussion on twitter with #askjo, #SharedParentalLeave and @NCTcharity.
I am so thankful for maternity and paternity leave but I haven’t enjoyed making sense of and negotiating on the bits about returning to work as a breastfeeding mother. So, anything to do with leave after birth gets my attention. Hence, my delight when I learnt about the Q & A session from my NCT group on Facebook. I applied to attend and I was so delighted when I was invited along.
How much do you know about the changes to parental leave, flexible working conditions, and gender equality in the workplace? During my attempt to negotiate my return to work as a breastfeeding mother, I realised that I didn’t know as much as I thought and I know even less about what these changes to the law means for my expanding family.
One thing is for certain, as The Dad Network already blogged about on Tots100, these changes is definitely good news for dads. It gives them way more leeway in sharing the allowed 52 weeks leave with mums after the birth of their little ones; subject of course to certain employment conditions. Also, in addition to the optional 10 paid Keeping in Touch working days that mums can take during their Maternity / Adoption Leave, there are now 20 paid working days each that mums and dads can choose to take in agreement with their employer. Furthermore, the shared leave can be taken simultaneously by both parents or in up to 3 separate blocks and even more, if one’s employer agrees.These will definitely go a long way in helping families that need it.
However, I remain concerned about the technicalities of the new entitlements and how they’ll actually be applied in the workplace. There are so many names to make sense of: Statutory Maternity Leave, Additional Maternity Leave, Statutory Maternity Pay, Maternity Allowance, Statutory Paternity Leave, Paternity Leave Pay, Parental Leave, Ordinary Parental Leave, Shared Parental Leave (Additional Paternity Leave is now part of this), Statutory Shared Parental Leave Pay, Adoption Leave, Adoption Leave Pay, Keeping in Touch days, Shared Parental Leave in Touch days. I am also struggling to understand how all these will interact with each other. The NCT has a good overview of the new Shared Parental Leave online, including a detailed Q&A about it by the law firm, Slater & Gordon.
I’m hoping to have my say tomorrow at the NCT’s Q & A session and that the MP will address my key concerns about what the government is doing to support families. If you would like me to ask any questions for you about Parental Leave, leave a comment below or tweet me @aNoviceMum
My participation in the Q & A session.
What I really like about Shared Parental Leave
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