Shared parental leave: 'I would've fought my husband tooth and nail to stay at home', says Julia Hartley-Brewer

Shared parental leave: 'I would've fought my husband tooth and nail to stay at home', says Julia Hartley-Brewer

The Government is promoting shared parental leave (Stock image)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Julia Hartley-Brewer has said she would've fought her husband "tooth and nail" if he had wanted to stay at home with their baby instead of her.

Julia spoke to men's rights campaigner Martin Daubney after the Department for Business said take-up of shared parental leave "could be as low as 2%," despite roughly 285,000 parents being eligible each year. The Government is now promoting the scheme with a "share the joy campaign." 

Parents can share 50 weeks off after their baby is born, but only 37 are paid at a rate of £140.98 a week or 90% of average weekly earnings, if that is lower. 

Daubney, co-founder of the Men and Boys Coalition, told Julia Hartley-Brewer: "Private employers quite often have very generous and very rewarding maternity packages.

"I think if we saw something similar for men then we'd see much more take-up [in shared parental leave]. That’s the future and employers are slowly catching on but the state is just way behind."

But Julia argued "if my husband had wanted to stay home with our baby I would’ve fought him tooth and nail that it would be me and not him.

"He didn’t feel that was his role, not because he's a caveman. He just felt that was a role I was biologically sound for. I wouldn't have traded those months with my daughter for anything in the world."

Daubney said that, "at this moment in time, and for the foreseeable future, I’m afraid the shared parental leave scheme is the preserve of those who can afford to do it" and we need to "show that we value [fathers] and put some dosh on the table." 

Listen to the full interview above

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