Common pitfalls in Shared Parental Leave Policies #equalise
There has been a welcome increase of late in companies introducing enhanced SPL enhanced pay, over and above statutory SPL pay.
However, behind the fanfare with which these policies are being announced lies a number of flaws with some of these policies. The nitty gritty is in the table below - they're a bit tedious - apologies - but if you're considering taking SPL, any of these nasty flaws in your firm's policy could seriously affect your ability to share leave with your partner.
Many of the flaws are because firms are "equalising" their SPL policies to their maternity leave policies. This sounds great, but in practice the "equalising" approach creates barriers to men accessing the full benefit of a firm's SPL policy.
What is SPL for?
Underlying all of these policy choices, the question for companies, individuals and society is essentially: what is Shared Parental Leave for?
Is it to allow:
- Dads to help mum with childcare, i.e. be a "hands-on-Dad" or "extra-pair-of-hands-Dad"; or
- Dads to gain the experience of being the primary caregiver for an extended period of time, i.e. be capable of being an "only-pair-of-hands-Dad".
Dadonspl is firmly of the view that it is only option 2 that will cause any meaningful movement towards equality in childcare and workplace gender equality. Though I would love to know what you think!
PS: Anyone who knows how to easily insert a table into Blogger - please get in touch! Dadonspl is unfortunately not a tech guru so apologies for the shabby image capture approach below!