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Shared Parental Leave

Shared Parental Leave, It's potential value to flexible working

It’s Potential Value To Flexible Working

How Many Even Know What Shared Parental Leave Is? 

How many know how to find out more information about Shared Parental Leave? 

Does it even work for people? 

How many have experienced it?

Around 285,000 couples every year qualify for Shared Parental Leave, but it is estimated that take up could be as low as 2% in the UK. Why is uptake so low and what benefits are there to better uptake?

With Childcare options in the UK being known as incredibly expensive could SPL be the first step to alleviating this pressure?

Why Aren’t People Taking Shared Parental Leave?

What is stopping parents from using Shared Parental Leave?:

  • Lack of awareness of it’s very existence from both parents to be and organisations!
  • Maternity / paternity Leave policies that need updating which will prompt discussion.
  • The lack of enhanced paternity pay available. Many fathers are stuck with the statutory rate (currently £140.98). While mothers on maternity pay often benefit from their employer’s more generous package (enhanced maternity pay). 
  • Fear of the impact taking extended leave above the ‘traditional’ 2 weeks will have on one’s career. We need to move away from the fact that taking a break, be it maternity / paternity / career break does not mean a sudden loss of experience, skills or enthusiasm. It means that for a period of time one wants to allow their focus to change without work suffering.

Better Shared Parental Leave Uptake Equals…

We believe that better awareness will lead to better uptake and a whole host of other benefits to workers and organisations.

Better uptake could contribute towards:

  • Closing the gender pay gap. Improving SPL makes it more attractive and realistic for men. This means more women are able to continue in careers and pursue senior higher paid roles. If we want an equal society then we must allow fathers to have the same access to paternity leave that mothers have.
  • Better parental mental health. SPL can allow people to better manage family and work commitments, thus leading to better mental health. After all, those early days can be incredibly hard. The option to have both parents off at the same time could make all the difference to mental health.
  • Better recruitment and retention of talented employees. Attractive SPL packages, beyond the statutory pay will lead to attracting talent from a wider pool of possible recruits. It also means that employees are more likely to return and stay following maternity / paternity leave. Shared Parental Leave Campaign UK

What You Need To Know About Shared Parental Leave

  • You and your partner may be able to get Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) if you’re having a baby or adopting a child.
  • One can share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay between you.
  • Share the pay and leave in the first year after your child is born or placed with your family.
  • You can use SPL to take leave in blocks separated by periods of work. Or take it all in one go. 
  • Choose to be off work together or stagger the leave and pay.

Providing truly flexible employment options is a key part of the Industrial Strategy. The Industrial Strategy is the government’s long-term plan to build a Britain fit for the future by helping businesses create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the UK. (Business Minister Andrew Griffiths).

Going One Step Further

Why not just have ‘Parental Leave’ with the same length of leave for both parents. Should parents have the same amount of statutory pay, regardless of which parent? The encouragement or better still enforcement that any enhanced pay is available regardless of which parent is taking the leave. We feel that Shared Parental Leave has the potential to add great value to flexible working initiatives. But does need some changes in order to be of value.

Stay tuned to see what our surveyed audience said! 

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11 Easy Ways To A Positive Mind

11 Easy ways to a positive mind, stressed to calm

What to do when it all gets a bit too much.

Our hectic lives can sometimes leave us feeling pretty flat and exhausted. This has a knock on effect on our family and working lives. In 2017/18 stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 44% of all work-related ill health cases and 57% of all working days lost due to ill health (Work related stress depression or anxiety statistics in Great Britain, 2018). Parents are particularly good at neglecting themselves. Of course we believe flexible working options could go a long way to helping reduce these figures. When you feel low, achieving a positive mind can seem pretty difficult. But it can be done with the following easy steps.

Signs You May Be Running On Empty.

  • Tasks become overwhelming to the point where you ignore them. Sometimes even simple tasks become difficult.
  • You get headaches (of course there are many reasons for headaches but stress is one of them)
  • Eating a poor diet – motivation to eat mindfully and well just isn’t there but the takeaway number is! Chronic stress can lead to obesity or weight loss.
  • Getting all snappy and shouty at the kids for no real good reason.
  • Constant guilt and worrying, about everything.
  • Lack of focus
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Palpitations

Source: NHS Website

How do you switch from a negative state of mind to a positive one?

Here are a few simple things which could help you on your way.  

#1 STOP and BREATHE

In a stressful moment, when things seem like they are getting out of control, step away. Stop and breathe, breathe from deep down at the bottom of your lungs. Sometimes all you need is that few long deep breaths to refocus and judge the situation for what it is.

#2 Be Realistic

Ask yourself ‘can I change this problem?’, ‘Is it my job/position/role to solve this problem?’, ‘Is there an actual answer?’. If the answer is ‘no’, then don’t waste your energy trying. Some things can be solved with time and effort but others simply can’t.

“Sometimes all we can do is surf the wave until we reach the shore, where we can walk forward once more.”

Focus your thoughts and energy on the here and now. Let’s face it, energy is in short supply when you have a young family. Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t and you will be well on your way to achieving a positive mind.

#3 Use Positive Affirmations

Nothing beats some positive affirmations or positivity quotes. Speak it and you will believe it. Why not put up some positive quotes around the house in frames, make them a piece of art.

#4 Take Some Time Out

As much as we love our family and friends we all need some time out. This may just be an hour away or maybe a night or two away. It may be on your own, with your OH or friends. We certainly all need some guilt free down time, for our mental and physical wellbeing. Honestly, you are allowed!

#5 Go For A Walk

Going for a walk can do wonders in achieving that positive mindset. Firstly, the fresh air, the green and gold of nature. Secondly the exercise. No work, pots or washing in sight. Check out these bloggers favourite days out for some inspiration. Unsurprisingly, the outdoors topped the list.

#6 Down Tools, Write A List

You’re rushing around, therefore losing focus and direction. Everything needs doing – NOW! But, it doesn’t. Stop what you are doing and write a list. Prioritise, what needs doing today and what can wait. It’s actually quite cathartic to tick things off a list. Can any of the tasks be simplified. For example online shopping, a quick call instead of a lengthy email?

If you find it difficult getting to sleep at night because you are worrying about things you need to do then write it all down in a list. Then put it down, read a book or watch a bit of Netflix and go to bed knowing that you have prioritised tasks for the next day.

#7 Speak To Friends

Sometimes you just have to unload with good friends. Friends don’t need to have the solution, just a pair of ears to listen and pair of arms for a hug! Sometimes just talking about issues out loud can lighten the load so much. Thus often putting things into perspective. Don’t let mum guilt get in the way of you taking a little time out to see friends.

#8 Read

Reading can really help you to unwind. Yes there may still be a full basket of washing needing doing or a toddler that may wake any second but this is your time, the washing can wait and the toddler might not actually wake.

#9 Craft

Sometimes the focus needed to do craft can take your mind off whatever it is bothering you. Maybe a bit of baking instead.

#10 Exercise Your Way To A Positive Mind

Exercise can drastically improve the health of your mind as well as your body. Therefore helping you to focus and see clearly. It helps you stay positive and be better at decision making. Once a week maybe enough to see these benefits. Of course if it’s weight loss you’re after that requires a bit more effort!

#11 There’s An App For That

Check out this list of apps, all aim to set you on your way to achieving a positive and healthy mind.

Do you have any ways to unwind, refocus or regain a positive mind? Do you suffer from letting everything get on top of you? Let us know in the comments.

On A More Serious Note #ItsOkNotToBeOk

For most of us, these steps may be enough to find our happy place again. However, for some more help is needed. Maybe you aren’t sleeping (and it’s not the kids fault) or constantly sleeping. Maybe you are shutting yourself off from loved ones. Perhaps the anger or snappiness is getting worse. Perspective doesn’t even come into the equation and you can’t explain why you feel like this. As a result you feel like your life is overshadowed by a dark looming cloud. Possibly leading to suicidal thoughts, feelings of self loathing and worthlessness…please, please if this is you…talk to someone, anyone.

#12 Get Help

A very important but sometimes difficult step to achieving a positive mind. You are not alone and there is help out there. Above all DON’T suffer in silence. TALK. Make sure you get the help you need and deserve.

Try these

Samaritans 116 123 (Free phone)

SANE 0300 304 7000 4.30pm – 10.30pm daily

MIND 0300 123 3393 9am – 6pm Monday – Friday

MIND 0300 123 5999 (BlueLight Service) 9am – 6pm Monday – Friday or Text 84999

For some other parenting relevant helplines see this list here

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ShootForTheMoon With Mums Enterprise

Mums Enterprise Events London

Getting Mums Back Into Work

#ShootForTheMoon With Mums Enterprise

In June two members of the MummyJobs, DaddyJobs and FlexIsBest team attended The Mums Enterprise event in Manchester. We were so overwhelmed with the numbers that we plan to have the whole team there at the two day event in London in September. We spoke to so many mums from start to finish. It was so busy there was little time in between chats to even have a nibble of lunch! But what was clear is the large volume of mums who post maternity find themselves in a situation where they feel lost when it comes to the subject of careers.

It is fair to say the day was a huge success, not just for us but for Lindsey, Lucy and the Mums Enterprise team too.

We asked Lindsey how she thought the day went….

Well done Lindsey, Lucy and the rest of the team for an amazing Mums Enterprise event in Manchester. How are you feeling now it’s over?

Thanks so much, we feel relief. These events have grown so much and that has been a conscious decision but it also comes with added personal, professional and financial risk to do so.  With events – the outcome is unpredictable. We do all we can to ensure the day is as awesome as possible and obviously we market and promote the event and get pre registrations. The danger is you could still very well end up with a different outcome than expected. We feel so proud when we see our event busy and bustling, giving us a sense of relief that hard work was worth it.

It must have taken lots of organisation, blood, sweat and tears to get such an event together but the outcome was brilliant and inspired so many women. How many women attended and what’s the feedback you’ve received so far?

Yes it really does, we are in the exact same shoes as the visitors who attend.  We have babies, families, work from home with a remote team and have worked for three years bringing these events to the world.  They exist because I couldn’t go back to my city job after my first baby in 2013. I started an events business first before the idea struck for this in 2015 with the first events in 2016.

Feedback has been amazing. We get inundated with messages of thanks and appreciation that the events are here and that they are just so so needed. We know the talent is out there, which is why we are so confident in taking such huge risks to do what we do.

The events are inspirational. They offer practical advice, useful workshops, a great opportunity to meet like-minded and mums and discover real work or business opportunities. Opportunities many may not have known existed had they not attended.

BUT events are never perfect, we manage our business by conducting live tests.  For instance this event was the first event we kept open until 6pm. We wanted to see if mums would come after work or after school pick up.  Some did, but it wouldn’t warrant us staying open that late again. So in future we will most likely close the event around 4.30pm.

The next London event is another test, it will be the first time we have done a two day event and are trying one day to be a Saturday to see if that helps mums who are employed or can’t get the time off work, or can get help with the kids.

One thing is for certain we must get more employers who are recruiting involved. Being a small team and are limited to the time we can spend actively selling and reaching out to new businesses. We will do more, but I am very pleased to have had over 3,000 satisfied visitors at Manchester. I mean that’s just incredible.

The Mums Enterprise event was all set up to cater for children, with nannies and play areas set up in various locations. How important do you feel this was to encouraging mums to attend?

Ideally we want a full creche but these events cost a heck of a lot of money. It isn’t cheap getting 3000 mums in once place so we do the best we can. This was the first time we had nannies in the workshop rooms as a mid-way option to trying our best to help those with children. We also keep workshops to only 30 minutes with 15 minute intervals – we feel this also helps.

Next up is London on the 1st and 2nd of February 2019, what should we expect from this 2 day event?

Well it’s going to be quite similar to the Manchester event. The same features, content and 5 exhibitors zones across Boost, Business, Flexible Work, Opportunity and Retrain & UpSkill. This time I am considering adding some longer mastermind sessions. Those who already run a business need more in-depth information which can’t always be delved into within just 30 minutes.  But I need to work on the agenda and then decide.

But the London show is again totally free and as mentioned is our first two day event and we are trying out a Saturday for show #7.

I spent most of the day talking to mums from the MummyJobs.co.uk stand. So many mums feel at a crossroads in their careers or jobs now they have a family. So many feel they can’t return to work due to lack of flexibility or refusal to even discuss flexible working. Skills are waiting to be snapped up by employers. Employers must understand that by embracing flexible working they open up their doors to a wider talent pool.

What would you say to the employers who still make the assumption that flexible workers lack ambition?

 

Mummyjobs.co.uk is doing a fantastic job getting more employers onboard to highlight opportunities and careers. There is a huge movement happening. I wouldn’t say that employers don’t find flexible workers lack ambition. I think it is more about a shift and cultural change within a business that is the challenge.  For large organisations especially, such a drastic implementation of change is a huge deal. There must be a diverse array of execs on boards to the traditional man and his pipe in order for that to happen.

There is a huge movement and organisations are recognising that there really is a 4th revolution happening. Not just for mums but for the world the 9-5 will be extinct. It will happen and it’s the likes of Mums Enterprise, Mummyjobs.co.uk and many others who can help make change happen. It’s just going to take working together, supporting one another and not giving up. This is a long game.

#Shootforthemoon

Thank you

Mums Enterprise Events

Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances the above event has been cancelled.