• Elizabeth Archer

"Taking six months off made me a better dad"

As David Freed walked into the baby weaning class with his six-month-old son James, he immediately felt out of place.

"They're called parent groups but they're actually mums groups. I was the only dad," he says.

"The teacher joked that I must have been instructed by my wife to come to the class and was very surprised when I said: 'No, I just thought my son needed weaning'."

It was the first day of shared parental leave for David, 32. Traditionally, women are entitled to up to 52 weeks' maternity leave and men are allowed to take two weeks' paternity leave.

But in April 2015 a law was passed which allows couples to share 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay between them.

However since then the uptake of shared parental leave has been shockingly low.

According to HMRC just two per cent of eligible parents (around 9,200 people) took shared parental leave in the 12 months to March this year.

In this interview, David told me why he's proud to be among the first men to take shared leave.



0 views

Copyright Elizabeth Archer 2016