Tag Archives: men’s rights

Shared parental leave – a victory for men’s rights!

Something really awesome happened in the men’s rights arena recently. A change that will benefit millions of prospective fathers in the UK: the parental leave rules changed.

Let’s take a minute to celebrate what this means. In the past, it was always assumed that the person who gave birth to a baby would be the person who’d be the primary carer in its first year. So mothers usually got maternity pay, and it’d be assumed that – beyond the statutory two weeks of paternity leave taken shortly after birth – dads would be the ones working in their child’s first year, while mums took on the lion’s share of childcare.

Obviously this explanation is pretty basic, and doesn’t take into account a whole bunch of stuff – same-sex couples or non binary people who give birth but wouldn’t identify as a mother, for instance – but those were the general rules, and they had a huge effect on UK workplaces. Now, though, thanks to rules on Shared Parental Leave (which came in at the beginning of April), apart from a compulsory statutory two weeks, which must be taken by the person who gave birth, parental leave can be split.

So: Dads are no longer assumed to be the ones working through the first year, missing out on things like their child’s first steps, or the chance to join baby yoga classes or hand-wash tiny babygros that are covered in weird yellow vomit – both parents get to decide how the work/childcare split happens. This is pretty fucking awesome.