The end of free movement: what SMEs need to know
Fashionable and attractive Mums who are responsible for the lion’s share of their children’s care are often referred to as “Yummy Mummies”. In modern day life parents are more frequently sharing childcare responsibilities and Dads are more often becoming the main carers of their children, so is it about time we introduced an equivalent term for Dads, such as “Dishy Dads”?
The Children and Families Bill was published on 5 February 2013. The Government’s aim behind this Bill is to create a truly family friendly society and to support economic growth by making working arrangements more consistent with modern life. Amongst other family friendly proposals, such as the extension of the right to request flexible working to all employees, the Bill promotes a system of shared parental leave, whereby parents will be able to share maternity leave and pay. After the initial two week recovery period, which it is compulsory for the Mother to take after giving birth, parents will be able to decide how they want to share the remaining leave. Parents may take the leave in turns or take it together, provided they take no more than 52 weeks combined in total. It is likely that this proposal will be implemented in 2015.
It is difficult to say how popular this proposed practice of shared parental leave will be, however, if it does become popular, then over time it may help challenge perceptions that it is usually a mother’s role to stay at home and look after the child. Attitudes may eventually shift towards women in the workplace, which may assist in reducing some employers’ discrimination against them. It could also improve the recruitment and promotion prospects of some women. Further, if it becomes normal practice for men to take time off work after a child is born and for mothers to return to work earlier, then Dads may indeed increasingly take on the Yummy Mummy role. Perhaps we’ll be looking at the rise of the “Dadpreneur”. Watch out for Dishy Dad fashion ranges, recipe books and nappy bags, not to mention the Daddy-toddler yoga classes!
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