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Department for Transport - Sharing Parental Leave

Category: Industry News, culture, Opportunity, responsibilities, dentist, arrangement

Department for Transport - Sharing Parental Leave

Following International Men’s Day, Adam Simmonds shared his story of planning shared parental leave.

Adam Simmonds, Deputy Director, HS2 Phase 2

I’m due to take two months’ shared parental leave starting in December. It’s an exciting and challenging time ahead.

Even before it starts, it's been quite an experience in exploring my own feelings about taking parental leave, and also (of course) in the admin involved.

I have always thought this to be an excellent policy and one I wanted to make the most of. I am looking forward to spending time with both children and especially to look after my son in the tricky first months when babies are so dependent on their parents.

In particular, it is a great option for my wife and me given Somayeh’s working arrangements as a dentist. Not least, of course, to quite rightly share our responsibilities as parents.

However, against this, there was still a part of my brain – a cultural throwback of sorts, I suppose – that said, ‘but men don’t do taking time off work to look after kids.’

For all that taking parental leave was something I knew I really wanted to do, it still took some time to think it all through and put that nagging suspicion aside.

I’m pleased that I was able to move on from that and make it happen, but we should acknowledge that there is still a pressure against men taking parental leave. The culture is changing and it is great to know of so many men making full use of the opportunity.

December is fast approaching and it is both a daunting and exciting prospect. I look forward to reporting back on how it has gone.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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