I am writing this as someone who last worked 4 weeks ago today as I have started additional paternity leave to look after our daughter. So what is APL? In a nut shell its when the mother goes back to work after 26 weeks and the father takes the remaining 13 weeks. There is some information out there found with a quick search but nothing near as much information as you can find for maternity leave. Some good information here from Dadzclub last year,
The government will also give you information on their website,
For what its worth in my opinion the pros are as follows ;
Getting time to bond with my daughter, its amazing, even if it took me two days to get time to write this.
Its a great experience to try a different form of work and appreciate what my wife had for the previous 26 weeks.
It also fitted our lifestyle, I work in retail which means unsociable hours and long hours over the festive period. My wife works regular hours and gets holidays over the festive period. (This may not be the case for everyone)
My wife found it tough going back to work after only 6 months.
It can be tough and demanding as you never get a minute to yourself anymore!
Financially its tough as you drop to Statutory maternity pay for the 13 weeks, this can hurt your pride.
The stigma, there are very limited men involved in parent/toddler classes for example. There was also the weird and possibly approving looks and comments from people when I was trying to explain what I was doing and why. I felt some people thought it was just to get a break from work.
In summary I am really enjoying it, its a lot tougher than I thought it would be but I wouldn`t change it for the world. I do however feel that while there are stories like this one where an employer was ruled legal to pay different rates to men and women during the maternity/paternity period the lack of uptake in men taking paternity leave will continue,
Any queries or questions with APL let me know……