A Reflection on Extended Paternity Leave
Embracing the Joy of Parenthood with our Family Policy
A long-standing Partner at The Nursery, Adam Staton reflects on 14 paid weeks of Paternity leave from his job, compared to the statutory, and normalised 2 weeks leave for fathers.
My partner and I are in a doctor’s surgery waiting room. We arrived five minutes early for an 11:20 appointment and were assured by the nice lady that things were running on time. It’s now 11:29 and we’re still waiting to be called in. There’s no air conditioning, it’s 30 degrees outside and I can feel the sweat soaking through my t-shirt. Oh, and I’m holding a tiny baby who is becoming increasingly agitated at everything going on around her.
This might sound a lot like an anxiety dream, but actually this was the day of our little one’s eight-week check-up.
And what happened next was her Mum and Dad started dancing and gurning like a pair of possessed idiots at an illegal rave and she started laughing for the first time in her whole life. Not smiles or half-giggles, but a series of loud belly laughs as her parents gyrated and hopped around to a song entirely in their heads. Thankfully for all concerned, including the poor man quietly waiting for his own appointment and desperately trying not to stare at us from behind his newspaper, the sweaty dance action was swiftly cut short by the doctor calling us in.
Why am I telling you any of this?
Well, I think it’s worth talking about because the only reason I was able to attend this appointment and witness my daughter laughing her tiny head off was because I’d been able to take extended paternity leave from work, thanks to the family policy here at The Nursery. This policy came about directly because we are employee-owned and because our partners wanted to work somewhere that led the industry in supporting both parents when a child comes along.
As a result, I was able to take 14 weeks off when mine turned up.
14 weeks in which I didn’t give work a moment’s thought and instead took the time and space to figure out how on earth to be a Dad*, to bond with my daughter and try to support our little family.
To my fellow partners who designed, signed-off and implemented the policy, and to those who picked up my work when I wasn’t around, I am very, very grateful.
If you’d like to learn more about what it’s like to work at, or with, The Nursery, then drop us a line. Just please don’t ask me to dance.
*still very much a work in progress, all suggestions welcome
Our Family policy came about directly because we are employee-owned and because our partners wanted to work somewhere that led the industry in supporting the whole family when a planning for and having a child. Read more about our family policy here