Saturday, May 18, 2013

Parenting - How the 'Family Unit' Has Changed

The 'family unit' has very much changed over the last few decades and is now unrecognisable from the start of the century. The mother no longer stays at home and looks after the children. Fathers no longer spend all their time out working providing for the family and who is to say that the normal family has a mum and a dad? Working mothers are the norm nowadays with most females holding full and part time jobs. This is due to either financial circumstances or being their own choice. Nurseries, childminders or other family members help look after the children whilst the parents are at work. This in itself is very costly and can place additional strain on the family's finances.

All of this is helped along with the work place embracing these changing and implementing flexible working in the form of term time working, compressed hours or the ability to work from home. This prevents the employer from losing some of their highly skilled staff but also ensures the staff member is happy and content in the workplace which has various benefits to the employer. When you decide to start a family it is important to ensure that you have some savings which can help buy the larger items that are required or will supplement your income when taking maternity leave. If this is not possible as money is very tight then it is important that you budget and plan as ahead as much as possible.

The laws regarding maternity leave allow you to have up to one year off work with statutory maternity pay being paid. However this is only in the regions of 瞿120 per week and is taxable. If your income is substantially higher than this then this government allowance will hardly assist in the paying of bills and the housekeeping! It is important for you to know how much your company will pay you when you are on maternity leave. Some companies pay full or at least 90% of pay until the child is three months then statutory maternity pay kicks in.

Fathers are entitled to two weeks paternity leave directly after the mother has given birth. Again the amounts they are entitled to vary. Some companies will allow fathers two weeks paid leave whilst others will implement the statutory paternity pay of again around 瞿120 per week. Unless you have been saving these amounts may leave you considerably short. Due to these short comings in the maternity benefits, females can find themselves rushing back to work when they would rather be at home with their child making themselves unwell in the process. If this happens do not be afraid to speak to your GP who may sign you off work until you feel better. Most companies may not like this however you are entitles to do it. The health of you and your child is paramount.

It is important to get the financial side of things correct as this will affect how you bring up your child. When considering returning to work, look at all the options available. If necessary reduce the amount of hours worked if the cost of childcare providers is beyond your reach. There are voucher schemes set up in most large organisations where the tax and national insurance element of the cost of providing childcare are deducted at source hence saving you over 瞿50 per month on costs of 瞿200.

Childminders are usually cheaper than nurseries but all factors have to be considered when choosing the best option. Family members may be keen to help at the beginning but can leave you in the lurch at important times. Look at all the options and do not rush into making any important decisions. Some nurseries have waiting lists but you may not know what you want to do until after the birth so it is important to look at other alternatives. If your child care is sorted and your financial situation is in good health then this will ensure that you will have some of the key skills to ensure 'good parenting'.

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