Why paternity leave benefits everyone | The Way We Work, a TED series
One father’s experience with paternity leave and returning to work
We sat down with an Indeed father to talk about his recent paternity leave experience, including how he decided how much time off to take, how it went, and how he’s adjusting to going back to work.
Preparing for paternity leave
Clint Carrens began investigating his parental leave options on Indeed when he and his wife learned they were expecting their second child soon. He was content to begin the conversation early because he felt fortunate to have a trustworthy relationship with his manager.
He could choose between a four-month “primary caregiver” plan or a six-week “secondary caregiver” plan at Indeed, both of which were fully paid parental leave options:
Clint said, “When I first learned about the options, I assumed that since I’m not the mother, I must be the primary caregiver. I thought my leave would only be for six weeks. But after learning that he could take the primary caregiver leave at Indeed as a father and that his wife would not get as much time off from her employer, he made the decision to take four months off to help with family care at home.
I’m glad I started planning as soon as I could because Indeed was a great partner in the process, but some of the transition’s logistics were still a little challenging, he said. The month before his leave began, he and his manager came up with a plan that included concentrating on significant but brief individual projects.
Getting the most of paternity leave
Clint claims he received the same piece of leave advice over and over again: “Many people advised me to completely disengage from my work life if I was going to take time off,” he says. But I needed to be adaptable and creative in order to figure out what worked for me. ” .
The four months of leave flew by in a happy but difficult blur. He was happy to take on additional responsibilities at home while his wife was at work because he valued the time he had with his son. He missed work in the weeks before his paternity leave ended and found it helpful to remind himself that it’s common to want to return to some aspect of your previous life.
Returning to the office after paternity leave
Planning his return to the office, he says, “It was important for me to come to work with the attitude I’d have if I were starting a brand new job—ready to learn and feeling okay about asking plenty of questions.” He anticipated when he returned to Indeed that he would have to “re-onboard” in order to keep up with changes to the company and pick up new procedures. That perspective enabled him to overcome the difficulties that came with spending a long time without a job.
Clint was able to transition back to work after parental leave smoothly thanks to Indeed’s four-week ramp-up period, which you can arrange with your manager. Clint says, “Even though it may have been tempting to do the opposite, I had a supportive manager who gradually increased my responsibilities.” My manager was familiar with being on maternity leave, so she recognized that I wasn’t taking a vacation and that I was still sleep deprived and worn out. ” .
Parents can have a much better experience going back to work by setting clear expectations and developing a supportive conversational routine. Planning is essential both before you leave and when you return to work. He was able to establish a new routine quickly and even felt more motivated about his work.
Deciding to take paternity leave (and common concerns)
One frequent worry about taking a partially paid leave is the stigma of being the family’s sole breadwinner, while many others express worry about falling behind or being criticized at work.
Paternity leave FAQs
What is paternity leave?
Do I qualify for paternity leave?
Ask an HR representative at your company or look it up in your employer’s internal resources to learn whether your employer provides full or partially paid paternity leave.
In any case, start your research as soon as possible because most employers need at least 30 days’ notice before you can take paid or unpaid parental leave so they can file the necessary paperwork and follow legal and business procedures.
Do guys get paid paternity leave?
5 In three states, paid family leave is available to both parents equally in California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. Fathers who take paternity leave, especially those who take longer leaves, may benefit their children and the entire family. took ten days of leave or less.
What is normal for paternity leave?
For six weeks, the state pays 60 percent of most workers’ salaries, up to a cap imposed by state law ($1,300 in 2020).
How long do most dads take for paternity leave?
However, the average amount of time fathers in the United S. is about one week (compared to 11 weeks for mothers). After the birth or adoption of a child, two weeks or less of time off work were reported by seven out of ten men. Nearly two-thirds wished they’d had more time.
What’s the difference between paternity leave and maternity?
Around the time of childbirth or adoption, mothers are entitled to maternity leave; around the same time, fathers are entitled to paternity leave. Parental leave offers parents a gender-neutral period of time to care for their young children after maternity and paternity leaves have ended.