Shared maternity leave is finally here.
It means couples who are due to have a baby on or after 5 April 2015, have the option to choose whether they want to share the mother’s maternity leave.
Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson says it offers a real choice: “Mothers and adopters will be able to choose when they return to work.”
She added: “Fathers and partners will be able to spend more time bonding with their children during the precious early stages of their development.”
According to figures, as many as 285,000 working couples will be eligible to share leave from April 2015.
So dads, what does it mean for you?
Many would say one of the most important aspects from shared maternity leave is that you will now have the chance to bond with your newborn in the early stages of their development.
Father of two, Adrian Dyer said: “When we had our second child in 2012, my career-minded wife suggested it might be my turn to stay at home.”
He added: “We did the sums and as my wife was earning more money than me, we agreed it made financial sense for me to be the one at home.”
Adrian went on to say: “Not only have I developed a stronger bond with my kids, but I have a better understanding of what it takes to be a parent, which has improved my relationship with my wife, too.”
As well as building family bonds, many are hoping the move will kick start a culture change in workplaces.
The end result, dads feeling more confident in taking time off for childcare.
Under the new rules, mothers will still take off at least two weeks of maternity leave after birth.
After that dads will have the option to share with their partner up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay.
Check out DAD.info’s CEO Christopher Muwanguzi talking about shared parental leave on Good Morning Britain.
Take a read of James Peacock’s blog, ‘Why i’m happy to be a stay-at-home-dad’.