Who does the night feeds and who washes the bottles? Now parents can decide and divide between themselves how much paternity and maternity leave to take.
Currently one or two weeks paid ordinary paternity leave is granted to men and women are given 26 weeks. Ordinary Maternity Leave means you are still given the same rights under your contract of employment as if you were still at work.
But this week, deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is expected to announce that all civil service employees, both male and female, will be offered equal parental pay and support from April 2015.
The announcement comes after Clegg pushed to introduce shared parental leave to the UK last year.
He said: “For me, it’s critical that people who choose to work in the public sector know that they’re working in modern, progressive workplaces.”
The changes would mean that under the scheme fathers will be entitled to the same enhanced pay as a woman in their position would be, if they decide to take time off to look after their new child when their partner goes back to work.
If a mother is not taking her full allocation it gives dads the chance to a share of six months leave on full pay and a further six weeks on 90 per cent of pay. Giving fathers the chance to bond with their newborn and help their partner in the early stages.
This also means more fathers, financially, will be able to afford to take time off without the purse strings at home having to be tightened.
But this would not benefit everyone. Fathers who are not employed by the civil service will be paid just a statutory minimum for the time off because there is no onus on employers offering better maternity schemes.
Mr Clegg hopes that equalising occupational support at the Civil Service, also from April, will “blaze a trail” for other employers to follow suit.
He added: “Evidence shows promoting flexible working patterns like this can help boost employee productivity, loyalty and retention. To help get that revolution started in the public sector, working with the Cabinet Office, I’ve been pushing hard for radical reforms to the way in which the Civil Service pays and supports its staff after their children are born.”
Image: Reuters / Olivia Harris