My experience taking Shared Parental Leave (SPL)
What is Shared Parental Leave (SPL)?
Shared Parental Leave (SPL) allows a mother and her partner to share 52 weeks of parental leave between themselves in order to take care of the baby during the first year after it’s born.
Suppose the mother takes maternity leave of 24 weeks (or 6 months). That means the father is entitled to the remaining 26 weeks or 6 months of paternity leave. The employer is required to not only allow that, but also to pay a statutory minimum salary during this period. In addition, the employer is expected to off the same or a comparable position upon return.
I must admit I wouldn’t have had the courage to take the Shared Parental Leave were it not for the encouragement and support of the Human Resources department. They had informed me about the existence of the policy in the first place, and had constantly encouraged me to go ahead with it. The HR department was always on hand to clarify my doubts and assuage my fears.
After agonizing over whether to take it, when to take it, and how to approach my manager, I finally decided to bite the bullet. With a poker face, he replied: “What is Shared Parental Leave? How does it work? Do I have to say ‘yes’?”
As awkward as that initial discussion was, it got better from there. The manager spoke to HR manager and very soon, all the boxes had been checked and the date agreed upon when I would start my 6 months leave.
So are there any negative repercussions of taking such a long / unheard of / Scandinavian-style paternity leave. Well, that remains to be seen. I have already taken 2 months off and have another 4 months to go. The full repercussions will materialize over the next few months (or years)
If you would like to hear more about my experience going through the entire process, feel free to comment below or Contact Us to get in touch for a confidential discussion! I would love to help!