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A father’s experience of Shared Parental Leave at Travis Perkins

07 Nov

This means both parents have the option to take leave in a more flexible way during the early months of having a baby, making parenting and career progression more equal. However, many UK workers are unsure whether their workplace offers Shared Parental Leave, with fewer still actively approaching their HR departments to find out more about the system.

At Travis Perkins, we encourage all new parents to take the time that works best for them and their families. Our colleagues who have taken up the offer have found the process straightforward and say they were readily welcomed back by their team. Here’s why Shared Parental Leave could be the best decision you make:

Shared Parental Leave has been available in the UK since December 2014, but did you know that just 1% of new parents used the system in 2018?

You can split the leave whichever way works best for you

Shared Parental Leave allows new parents the opportunity to share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay if they are having a baby or adopting a child. One thing that is really important to consider is that the scheme grants Statutory Shared Parental Pay, so for couples where one partner earns considerably more than the other it may not be feasible. Though there are some numbers to crunch what you need to know is that the legislation is very flexible – parents can choose to both be at home at the same time or take turns to stay at home and save the expense of childcare. Also, you can take it when it suits you best, as long as it falls between two weeks before the end of maternity leave and a year of the birthdate – or placement date in the case of an adoption.

It gives fathers the bonding experience that they sometimes miss out on

For fathers who have the option to stay at home, it’s a great opportunity to spend time with a child during their early weeks or months - and that is time you don’t get back again. Being alone with a newborn baby for hours at a time is a daunting but incredibly rewarding role, and it puts into perspective the experiences that mothers who stay home with their babies have. What’s more, it highlights the importance of work-life balance , giving fathers vital time to bond with their new baby and take time out from work at a key stage in their family’s lives.

It can be a straightforward process

Shared Parental Leave may not work for everyone but the first step is to look into the government policy and understand what you are entitled to. Because the take-up of the programme is fairly low currently, not all HR teams are on top of the legislation, so it’s best to getting a handle on it yourself to ensure you’re aware of the benefits and challenges it may bring. Once you’ve done the research next up is checking in with your HR department to see what your options are.

Is Shared Parental Leave right for you?

The decision of whether Shared Parental Leave is right for you and your family is ultimately up to you and is something you need to dedicate some time to think about. What you should remember is that with ‘keep in touch’ days on offer at most businesses to parents undertaking parental leave – not to mention the social communication channels many of us use after work hours - there are plenty of ways to stay in touch with colleagues and the wider business while you’re caring for your child. This means you can feel more confident taking the time off from your work, knowing that your transition back will be as easy possible.

Shared Parental Leave is a right that allows eligible parents across the UK the opportunity to combine work with family life. Whether you’re at Travis Perkins or another organisation, it could be a great option to explore if you have a child in the future.

Interested in working with us? Find out what Life@TP is like or view our latest vacancies to find a role that might suit you.

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