Who’s Bringing Up Baby?



There is no doubt that bringing up a baby is hard; sleepless nights, endless worry and financial struggles are all part of bringing up a child. But for most families the question that causes the most anxiety and upset is this: Who’s bringing up baby?

Currently, in Britain, mothers are entitled to 52 weeks statutory maternity leave, during which they may be entitled to receive 39 weeks statutory maternity pay. Fathers are only currently entitled to 2 weeks paternity leave.

Over the last few weeks it has been reported in the press that many women are now the main breadwinners in their household, and if this is the case many families suffer when the woman’s pay drops dramatically during her maternity leave. Add to this the fact that many fathers would like to be more actively involved in their baby’s first year and it becomes clear a shake up of the system is necessary.

The government has announced a scheme that will enable families to choose to transfer up to six months leave to the father should they want to, which can be taken by the father once the mother has returned to work. As this option will be available during the second six months of child’s life it will give parents the option of dividing the paid leave entitlement between them.

This is fantastic news, as it means should a mother need to return to work the child can still be cared for in the family home by their father, helping to release some of the pressure on working mothers.

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