Shared leave pol­icy is a con­fused mess

The Guardian - Journal - - Letters -

The fea­ture on “shared parental leave” (The cou­ples who share parental leave – and its highs and lows, 1 De­cem­ber) failed to ex­plain that this pol­icy is not parental leave at all, but trans­fer­able ma­ter­nity leave with use by fa­thers de­pen­dent on their part­ner’s agree­ment to trans­fer a part of her ma­ter­nity leave. Gen­uine parental leave is an en­ti­tle­ment equally avail­able to both par­ents. Though not men­tioned in your ar­ti­cle, it does ex­ist in the UK due to an EU direc­tive, with each par­ent en­ti­tled to 18 weeks’ non-trans­fer­able parental leave, al­beit un­paid and only avail­able for four weeks per year.

The UK’s leave pol­icy is con­fus­ing and dys­func­tional, and in ur­gent need of re­form. This is un­likely to hap­pen while mis­lead­ing ter­mi­nol­ogy goes un­ques­tioned.

Emer­i­tus Pro­fes­sor Peter Moss

In­ter­na­tional Net­work on Leave Poli­cies and Re­search

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