I have recently returned to work after having my son and so the recent news about the government’s proposed changes to the current Parental Leave has certainly struck a chord with me. The current arrangements aren’t that bad, in my opinion but they thet certainly don’t cater for fathers in the same way as the proposed plans are promising.
When I had my daughter in 2004, I was entitled to six months maternity leave and six months unpaid, which I took. We were lucky enough to be able to take a mortgage holiday so that we could afford to live on just one wage. When my son was born in 2009, I was entitled to nine months maternity leave and could take another three months unpaid if I wished. I didn’t take the extra three months but we still needed the mortgage holiday. In all of this, my husband got a measly two weeks.
There were so many days when I NEEDED my husband at home with me. Yes, additional parental leave for him would have been lovely. There were many times when our son needed his daddy at home with him. Again, additional parental leave would’ve been lovely.
We would never have been able to cope financially. Maternity pay is just not enough to cover the basic bills we have to pay and so the proposed plans leave me a little cold I’m afraid.I know that they would undoubtedly benefit many families but we are not one of them.
I understand that the proposed plans are to share the parental leave so that the mother can return to work with the father taking thes rest of the leave so that we aren’t forced to put our chidlren into childcare prematurely. I like that idea. Or I would, if there was any way that I could ever earn as much as my husband. Unfortunately, that day doesn’t look set to arive any time soon. If my husband were to take the rest of my maternity leave on maternity rates we would be well and truly stuffed.
I also understand that David Cameron has “slammed extending paternity leave as ‘political correctness.'” (BBC news article) so it leaves me wondering: will these proposed plans even come to anything or will there be another u-turn?
So those are my views. Please leave me your comments as I would really like to know yours. Would the proposed plans suit you and why? Or do you agree with me? Or am I talking nonsense? I really want to know!