How does my employer benefit from me looking after my kids?

Working dads. Boy, they have it hard, away from the kids for all that time. I’m one of the fortunate ones though. I recently returned to work after five months off looking after my youngest daughter.

I was able to do this thanks to the Shared Parental Leave policy that came into force in April 2015. A policy which gave my employer very little say in the matter.

I’ve been a clear winner from SPL. Those five months were the best five months of my life. One would also hope that Mina and her older sister Lola benefitted from having my undivided attention, although in truth Mina probably won’t miss the training plan I devised to get her walking which made the preparations of most Olympians appear desultory (well they say you should encourage your kids).

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Last night I dreamt I went to work again.

It felt surreal, as if I’d returned somewhere I’d once visited a long, long time ago, in a reverie perhaps or a past life.

But as it turns out it wasn’t merely a dream; I genuinely was back at work yesterday. Today too. And I’ll be there tomorrow. Only I’m having a little trouble coming to terms with this after spending a thoroughly life-affirming five months at home with my two girls, a period during which I categorically shelved the day job.

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Sharing is caring

A version of this article first appeared on

‘Sharing is caring’ is a refrain we hear frequently from Lola. Apparently it’s something that her teacher says to the class and having seen Lola play with Mina and allow her baby sister a solitary Stickle Brick to keep herself amused, I can well believe this.

The reason for me mentioning it is that these paragraphs contain my thoughts on Shared Parental Leave, something which I am currently benefitting from as I get to spend several months looking after two of the three most important girls in my life (the other, my wife, will gladly tell you how she has to look after all three of us, all of the time, but that’s another blog post entirely).

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