Shared parental leave: Delivering modern parenting at RECCo

Our Director of Data, Technology and Transformation, Pete Davies, is a proud advocate of shared parental leave and recently shared his experience with us. Pete took 5 months of shared parental leave from October 2023 to February 2024 and found the experience nothing short of amazing.

“I would recommend it to anybody, whether you’re a mum, dad, or partner. It’s awesome that RECCO offers equal parental leave rights, regardless of gender. This ensures that both parents can enjoy the benefits without any discrimination,” Pete remarked.

In this Q&A session, Pete Davies shares his experiences and insights into the world of parental leave. Including the enhanced benefits provided by RECCo.

Q1: How does shared parental leave work?

Pete: “Shared parental leave (SPL) in the UK allows eligible parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay between them following the birth or adoption of a child.

All companies are legally required to provide SPL, though the terms and conditions can vary significantly. For example, while some companies only offer the statutory minimum pay during this period, RECCo distinguishes itself by offering an enhanced pay policy. This policy provides pay at 100% and 50% at various intervals throughout the 52 weeks, thereby supporting their employees more substantially during this important time.

My wife and I filled in the required standardised forms for our companies, which don’t need to be shared between companies, and I found the process really straightforward.”

Q2: What are the benefits of parental leave for individuals and society?

Pete: “For me, the biggest benefit was bonding with my children. My perception is that young children just naturally form a strong attachment with the people they spend the most time with. I didn’t take SPL when my first son was born, and I definitely see a difference in the early bond I developed with my son this time around.

For example, my eldest was mainly with his mum for the first eleven months. I was here, but definitely not as able to be as hands-on when working full time. However, from utilising shared parental leave with our third son, I feel that he very much sees us as equal figures. He’ll come to either of us when he’s upset, and it’s great to see that balance. You realise that your child depends on you, which is a really nice, warm feeling.”

Q3: What did you find most rewarding during your leave?

Pete: “I think it’s the simple joy of nurturing and witnessing my son’s growth. It really is that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you’re helping and bonding with your child. My son knows a bit of baby signing, so I love helping him communicate and understand his emotions.”

Q4: How was the transition back to work after parental leave?

Pete: “Before I left, I made sure everyone knew I was taking SPL, and we worked together to make that transition seamless. Everyone was really supportive, and I didn’t worry that there would be any problems while I was away.

Honestly, I was more apprehensive about being a stay-at-home Dad! I’d never done anything like this before, and I was worried I wouldn’t have a clue! Of course, I have much more experience now, but you can always learn more about parenting.

I wasn’t nervous about returning to work. I knew things were running well—I trusted my team and the rest of RECCo to make the right decisions. I felt that I came back to RECCo with some bigger reflections about the company and what I wanted to do, so it was nice to return.”

Q5: What would you say to others to encourage them to take SPL?

Pete: “I’d hugely encourage anyone to take SPL – it’s hugely fulfilling for both parents. My wife definitely benefited because she went back to work earlier, and I can see how engaged she is. I know that a year can feel like a long time out for one person to take from their career.

So, taking six months each was great, and I didn’t feel too disconnected from work. If anything, whilst I couldn’t influence small work matters, it did give me time for more long-term thinking.

In your personal life, I think it gives both parents an understanding of what the other does and the baby’s development. I reflect on my first son’s development and realise how much I missed by not taking SPL. Overall, I loved it, and I’ll never forget it.”

Thank you for sharing your experience! You can find out more about benefits at RECCo here.

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