Dad on SPL (Shared Parental Leave) – Joe Young – S1E5

This week, our host Rob Hanna is joined by Joe Young who runs popular blog Dad on SPL.  Joe discusses some of the firms that are leading the market in terms of their Shared Parental Leave policies in the UK. Joe has created “The Shared Parental League” which highlights some of the best SPL performers in the UK – which you can check out here! 

Show notes

Here are 3 reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1.  Learn more about Shared Parental Leave policies in the UK.  
  2. Understand the importance of taking advantage of Shared Parental Leave.
  3. Hear why Shared Parental Leave is receiving traction in the media.


Episode highlights:

Joe’s background and journey:

  • Joe was a maths teacher in Hull and London before starting his legal career.
  • He travelled a bit, along with teaching, before going to law school via supply teaching in London.
  • He got a training contract with Pinsent Masons in 2012 before qualifying in 2014 for the commercial litigation department. 

Joe’s contentious route:

  • As a litigator, Joe enjoys being the expert in the room when his clients come to him for advice. 
  • Often, clients come with a ‘claim form’, and Joe believes a contentious lawyer should be an expert in the procedures, aspects and merits of the claim. 
  • They are leading the client and guiding them through the process.
  • Joe compares this to a transactional lawyer, who is filling out the forms, and it is the client who is driving the negotiations. 

Joe’s experience with parental leave:

  • Joe shared his parental leave with his partner, who is also a lawyer. 
  • He wanted his daughter to know that parenting was an equal endeavour and that gender should not limit her ambitions or separate categories of work. 
  • Currently, it is written in legislation that a father cannot take shared parental leave unless this is approved by the mother. 

How did Joe’s blog start?

  • Joe’s blog developed organically, and he did not have any specific targets he set out with when creating his blog.
  • He first wanted to keep a diary of the experience he was going to have with his daughter.
  • Despite knowing a few people who had taken shared parental leave, Joe found that there were not many people who had done it – mainly due to pay.

Companies and Shared Parental Leave:

  • Aviva is a high-performing company that offers 6 months of full pay to all parents.
  • Aviva has published on their website that 90% of men who are eligible take shared parental leave, and two-thirds of men will take 100% of that leave entitlement.
  • Joe recognises that there are social stigmas attached to the idea of the mother being the primary caregiver.
  • Shared parental leave is getting lots of traction in the media, with The Times Newspaper discussing how firms have increased their shared parental leave to retain their best talent.
  • Companies are now copying and pasting from their maternity leave policies on the assumption that they are now equal to paternity policies – a process being labelled as ‘equalising policies’.
  • Joe acknowledges there is a lack of public awareness since many do not know it is a father’s legal right to take 6 months off. 

The Shared Parental League:

  • The enhanced pay available forms the basis of Joe’s Shared Parental League. 
  • Insurance is a sector which performs well and is ahead of the curve. Within the insurance sector, firms are realising that to retain the best talent, they need to offer better shared paternal leave. 
  • Whoever is offering the best SPL pay packages is driving gender equality in the workplace.
  • The Shared Parental League was Joe’s idea to highlight and celebrate the best performance and practises in the UK regarding companies’ offerings on shared parental pay.
  • Joe started by looking for publicly available information and then carried out a cross-sector analysis of what policies are out there and what firms are offering.
  • He then formulated this idea into a league table and completed his own research about SPL and maternity policies. 
  • The league table covers flexible working arrangements, maternity leave and childcare.
  • Joe discovered there is a traditional female marketing paradigm, focusing mainly on working mothers when talking about family issues.
  • Joe decided to take the discussion about SPL benefits and put it into a more traditionally male paradigm – a league.
  • The league table is about showing who is the best and making comparisons with different companies to celebrate the best practice. 

What is the ‘birthday’ peg?

  • Some companies will only offer leave for the 1st 26 weeks as part of their shared parental leave policy. 
  • This means in months 7 – 12, the father will get paid nothing for any time he takes, including enhanced pay.
  • It is important for firms to understand in months 7 – 12, men are more able to be the primary caregiver to the child.
  • In months 1 – 6, the mother needs time to recover and bond with the child, which may include breastfeeding and lots of skin-to-skin contact. 
  • This means it is not feasible for the father to be the sole caregiver in months 1 – 6.
  • Joe argues that a company that only offers pay for the first bit after childbirth is effectively saying men should not be the primary carers of children. 
  • He backs this up with how women are more likely to need to take the leave in the first period of the birth year, and if men take this leave too, they will not be the primary caregiver – it is usually in the later months that a man takes on this role. 

What can firms be doing to improve?

  • Joe argues it is about firms allowing the flexibility for a couple to use that enhanced pay period how they want to. 
  • For example, Standard Life Aberdeen’s policy offers 40 weeks of full pay at any time up to the child’s second birthday.
  • Having a good SPL policy should be a foundation for firms.

What are Joe’s future plans for the blog?

  • Joe’s immediate plan is to respond to the government consultation on its new proposals to support working families.
  • He believes this might involve a wholesale change in the way that shared parent leave operates.
  • Additionally, Joe has been interviewing other professionals about law and their own SPL experiences to show people that there are people who have taken advantage of SPL.
  • With regards to the Shared Parental League, Joe would like to add more companies that are publishing new policies.
  • Joe plans to split the league into sectors once enough firms publish their own data.

What does Joe enjoy most about being a father?

  • Joe enjoys the time he spends with his daughter, feeling like he is hanging out with his best friend.
  • He appreciates seeing her a lot, rather than just in the evening or on the weekend.
  • He and his daughter do everything together, including brushing their teeth and going to the park. 
  • Seeing his daughter develop every day motivates Joe for when he returns to work. 

5 powerful quotes from this episode:

  1. “And the contentious lawyer should be an expert in not only the, the procedure by the aspects and merits of the claim”.
  2. “…gender shouldn’t limit her ambitions in anyway, and that there shouldn’t be distinct categories of work or tasks that are ‘women’s tasks’ or ‘men’s tasks…”.
  3. “Once you start paying people and encouraging people to take that time, that’s gonna be a big factor”.
  4. “…it’s been a really amazing experience all through in terms of connecting with other people and other parents and speaking to them about their experiences and just seeing your, being able to see your daughter develop every day and you know, new developments every day”.
  5. “…when I return to work, sort of putting everything into perspective and I think it is actually quite motivating to come back…”.

If you wish to connect with Joe, you may reach out to him on LinkedIn.

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Disclaimer: All episodes are recorded at certain moments in time and reflect those moments only.


Rob Hanna: Welcome to the Legally Speaking Podcast, powered by Kissoon Carr. I’m your host, Rob Hanna. Today I’m delighted to be joined by Joe Young, a high-flying 5 PQE city commercial litigation lawyer. Joe founded and developed Dad on SPL, which stands for shared parental leave. This is a leading blog which discusses the trials and tribulations of taking shared parental leave in the UK. Joe is a first time father who wishes to educate and encourage others to take advantage of SPL. Within his blog he has created the Shared Parental League, highlighting UK firms that are walking the walk and not just talking to talk with regards to gender equality. So welcome, Joe.  

Joe Young: Hello.

Rob Hanna: How we doing?

Joe Young: Yeah, very good thanks. Very good.  

Rob Hanna: Good stuff. I must start, as is customary to all of our Legally Speaking listeners with the honorary question on on the scale of 1 to 10. 10 being very real, how do you rate the TV hit series, Suits?  

Joe Young: Well, unfortunately, I have to make a confession here. I have never watched an episode of Suits, so I have absolutely no idea.

Rob Hanna: There we go, there we go. 

Joe Young: Whether I’m a nought or a 10.

Rob Hanna: [Laughter] Well, you’re a first in the sense that anyone we have had hasn’t seen it. So based on that, we’ll give it a zero just to sort of even out the scales.

Joe Young: [Laughter] Ok.

Rob Hanna: Because it will be very impartial if you gave it a 10. So today the episode is very much called Dad on SPL. I know yourself, you took six months of share parental leave, I think, in 2019 early this year. But before we go into that, did you want to tell us a bit more about your background and sort of how you got to where you are as a sort of high-flying city lawyer?

Joe Young: Okay, well, my route into law was somewhat zig zag, and wasn’t, wasn’t a straight line. Or I believe the term is a ‘nonlinear career’ these days. So I left uni. I actually did quite a bit of teaching. First, I was a maths teacher first in Hull and then down in London. And I also did a bit of travelling mixed in with, mixed in with the maths teaching and then went to law school, paid for law school via supply teaching in, in London. And after all, that got a training contract with Pinsent Mason’s and started training in 2012 to 2014 and yep, qualified in 2014 into the commercial litigation department and have been suing people ever since.  

Rob Hanna: [Laughter] Did you always want to go down the more contentious route? Is that what you enjoyed it?  

Joe Young: I think what I enjoy about litigation is and I’m sure the transactional that lawyers will disagree with me.

Rob Hanna: [Laughter]

Joe Young: Is that as a litigator, you are the expert in the room when the clients come to you for advice.   

Rob Hanna: Yeah.

Joe Young: They’ve received a claim form, you know, and they might be thinking, ‘What the hell do I do with this?’ And the contentious lawyer should be an expert in not only the, the procedure but the aspects and merits of the claim. And you are very much leading the client and holding their hand through that process. Whereas a transactional lawyer, maybe, once the initial conversation of, you know how, how to structure a  transaction is over. It’s the client that’s driving the negotiations and ultimately the lawyers that are filling in the forms.

Rob Hanna: [Laughter]

Joe Young: I do a disservice to my very esteemed corporate colleagues.  

Rob Hanna: Big caveat there.    

Both: [Laughter]  

Rob Hanna: Okay, so you sort of zig zagged into the legal profession, as you said. And, you know,  congratulations. You recently have become a father. And you have, as I said at the top of the podcast, created this, you know, really, really impressive blog. So do you want to tell us more about that? And what really fuelled your your passion for that?  

Joe Young: Sure so, as as you said in the intro, I began my shared parental leave in April of this year, and I took six months. So, we, me and my partner, who is also a lawyer.

Rob Hanna: Yeah. 

Joe Young: So, so she’s a competition lawyer at Mishcon de Reya.

Rob Hanna: Okay.

Joe Young: And so we decided, when we, I said when we were pregnant. 

Rob Hanna: [Laughter]

Joe Young: When my partner was pregnant.  

Rob Hanna: Yeah. 

Joe Young: We decided that we wanted to split the leave equally.

Rob Hanna: Mhmm.

Joe Young: Down the middle, six months, six months. And that’s indeed, what we did. It was important to us that when we had our daughter that she knew that parenting was an equal endeavour.

Rob Hanna: Yep.

Joe Young: Between the both of us, and that from the outset she should know that gender shouldn’t limit her ambitions in anyway, and that there shouldn’t be distinct categories of work or tasks that are ‘women’s tasks’ or – 

Rob Hanna: Yeah.

Joe Young: ‘Men’s tasks’ and that kind of thing. And, we wanted to live that out and she was really supportive and got behind me doing that. I think that’s a really important aspect to draw out because legally, it is in the gift of the mum to give this to the dad.

Rob Hanna: Yeah.

Joe Young: A dad cannot take shared parental leave currently, unless the mum allows that to happen, that’s that’s written into the legislation.

Rob Hanna: And that is a really important point, because people listening in may just sort of have this assumption, ‘oh it’s it’s easy, you can just make it happen’.  

Joe Young: Yep.

Rob Hanna: But so that is actually a thing people need to be really kind of mindful of when they’re actually family planning and talking to their partners –   

Joe Young: Exactly.

Rob Hanna: They need to have these detailed discussions.

Joe Young: Exactly and she was, yeah brilliant, and so supportive of my and encouraging me to take it. Leading then onto the blog. I think it’s developed organically and I don’t think I necessarily had specific targets with what I wanted to do with it when I set out. I think firstly, I just wanted to record and almost just keep a diary of the experience that I was about to have with my daughter, and it would be a good way to capture all that. Whilst I did know a few people that had, had taken shared parental leave before me who were great role models and inspirational for me.There are not many people that have done it.  

Rob Hanna: Yeah. Why do you think that is?

Joe Young: Why do I think that is? Erm.

Rob Hanna: Lack of education? People sort of not not aware of sort of things that you’re trying to promote? Or people just generally, you know, going through the motions. Yeah, give us, putting you on the spot a bit, but give us your thoughts.

Joe Young: Sure. So I think, I think there’s a few factors. The overriding factor is pay.

Rob Hanna: Right.

Joe Young: And the availability of enhanced pay for people taking shared parental leave. You only have to look at Aviva, who are a company that perform well in the Shared Parental League that you mentioned at the start. They now offer six months full pay to all parents. They now have, I think they published on their website, that 90% of men take, that are eligible, take shared parental leave and 2/3 of the men that are eligible will take 100% of that leave entitlement.  

Rob Hanna: Wow.

Joe Young: And I mean, you know, it’s once you start paying people to take time off at full pay.

Rob Hanna: [Laughter] Yeah.   

Joe Young: Well, I used, I used time off, you know. 

Rob Hanna: Productive time off. 

Joe Young: Yeah, exactly. Once you start paying people and encouraging people to take that time, that’s gonna be a big factor. But there are also other factors.  Social stigmas that still persist. People just passively go along with the status quo. And it’s always assumed that it will be the job of the mum to be the primary care giver.

Rob Hanna: Mm.

Joe Young: Another interesting aspect of this discussion is the way that shared parental leave is getting lots of traction in the media. But not only the fact that it is getting traction. How it is being spoken about in the media is interesting, too. So I saw, I think it was a Times article that said ‘X firm has increased its shared parental leave offering to retain best talent’. And it’s very interesting, I thought, and maybe incorrectly, but that when we’re talking about men’s pay that things are talked about in terms of retaining best talent and you know, we’ve got to do this for the benefit of the business. Whereas for the last, however many number of decades in talking about women’s pay for maternity leave, it’s always been kind of discussed in a way that it was a burden on businesses and businesses shouldn’t, shouldn’t do this. I just think that’s very, I’m not sure I fully know what I feel about that, but it’s it’s a very interesting discussion point. Companies are copying and pasting from their maternity leave policies and on the assumption that they are now equal.

Rob Hanna: [Laughs] Yeah.  

Joe Young: In fact, they call this process, they are equalising their policies.

Rob Hanna: [Laughs] Right.

Joe Young: But that doesn’t always work in practical terms. So that’s another barrier. And then just public awareness, is another factor. It’s quite interesting the number of people that will say to me, ‘Oh it’s great that your firm let you take six months off’, and my response is no, that’s my legal right to take that six months off. In fact, I could have taken 50 weeks of shared parental leave, and that is my legal right.

Rob Hanna: I bet that shocks quite a few people because that’s just not known toI think you know, broader, broader circles. So you’re absolutely right. But I can imagine the reactions that you get is ‘Oh really!?’  

Joe Young: Yeah. Their assumption is that you can just take this time, and at the moment it’s sort of, it’s still, it’s still seen as something that’s quite new or interesting when you talk about it. And ultimately the goal is that a dad taking six months off is just, you know, is, is – 

Rob Hanna: Is just a norm, right?

Joe Young: Yeah exactly.

Rob Hanna: Yeah, we want it to get to an equal playing field where it’s just seen as the same. And you know we are, you know, we’re in the legal space. So for you and people listening in who may be thinking about having families or generally, you mention Aviva, but in terms of the legal sector, not to put you on the spot, how do you find the legal sector versus, say, the insurance versus other professional services, banking, in terms of their receptiveness to share parental leave and you know people thinking about it, what would you say?  

Joe Young: One area that I’ve been looking at, I.E. the enhanced pay available and that forms the basis of my Shared Parental League. When I look at the sectors that perform well, insurance is definitely a sector performs well and they seem to be quite ahead of the curve. And actually what is starting to happen, I think within the insurance sector, is firms are realising that to retain the best talent they need to start offering better shared parental leave, maternity leave.The point isn’t well is this. is one sector busier than another or not.

Rob Hanna: Yeah.

Joe Young: The point is, who is offering the best enhanced SPL pay packages? Because that will drive gender equality in the workplace.  

Rob Hanna: Yeah. Yeah, fair point, fair point. And I think people can, can relate to that. Just talking about then theShared Parental League. Really interesting this concept you’ve touched on it, but just tell us sort of basically how it works and a bit more about that.  

Joe Young: Sure, so the Shared Parental League was my idea to highlight and celebrate best performance in the UK and best practises in regards to companies offerings on shared parental pay, essentially. And I just started, started it by looking for public, publicly available information, and there’s quite a bit in the press at the moment and you can, on certain companies you can download, even download their maternity and shared parental leave policies. And started  doing a bit of a sort of, I mean, it’s a cross-sector analysis of, what policies are out there, what are firms doing, what are firm’s offering? And then came the idea to sort of put them together into a league table and some of the thinking around this was, as I started doing my own research about, around shared parental leave and maternity policies and working families and all this kind of thing. It always seems to me to be pitched in a way, that is what I will call a traditionally female kind of marketing paradigm.  

Rob Hanna: Yep.

Joe Young: I’m not really sure. I’m not –

Rob Hanna: [Laughter]

Joe Young: I’m not a marketeer, so –

Rob Hanna: We get the point. I know what you’re trying to mean. 

Joe Young: And it’s always about, so it’s about, you know, flexible working arrangements and, you know, flexible start times. And it’s packaged up with maternity leave and childcare, and they’ll be working groups within firms about working mums and all this kind of thing, even, even some of the key websites and key blogs are just so obviously focused at women when you’re talking about family issues. And one thing that interested me about doing the League was taking the discussion about shared parental leave benefits and putting that more into a, what I would call traditionally male –  

Rob Hanna: Yeah.

Joe Young: Paradigm. A League. This is competitive. This is about showing who is the best and I kind of had the idea of making comparisons with the Football League and literally pitting firms against each other. As a way to take it out of that sort of solely traditional, traditionally marketed at women way.

Rob Hanna: Yeah.

Joe Young: I may be not explaining that.  

Rob Hanna: No, but I think it makes it more of an objective. You put it into a League. It’s there in black and white, and I think the point is with the League as well it’s to bring out the best of firms and companies.  

Joe Young: Exactly.

Rob Hanna: Not gonna name and shame, right? It’s about actually these what people are doing well, it’s like if you’re fifth in the league, how can I get to 1st, rather than you know anything else? And that’s a clear point. 

Joe Young: Exactly. And I’d like to stress that. The league is there to celebrate the best practise. It is not there, well, I’ve actually had quite a few people contact may saying, ‘Oh, you know, my company doesn’t offer any pay. Can you include us in the Leagues and put us at the bottom?’ And I just said, well, that’s not what this is about.

Rob Hanna: No.

Joe Young: I’m not, I’m not here to, as you said, name and shame. This is about celebrating best practise. In terms of how the League works it’s quite simple, but there’s a little quirk in it.  

Rob Hanna: Okay, we like quirks.  

Joe Young: So I judge firms on, if a dad took months 7 -12 off, i.e. the back half of the year.  

Rob Hanna: Yeah.

Joe Young: How many weeks full, enhanced pay would he receive? And that is the, that is the kind of points total.

Rob Hanna: Yeah.

Joe Young: And then my goal difference, as I call it, is what is the total enhanced pay offered at any point during the birth year? And now that might seem, and here’s, this is the quirk.

Rob Hanna: Okay.

Joe Young: Because you might ask, ‘Well, what’s the difference?’  

Rob Hanna: Yeah.

Joe Young: The difference is, quite a few policies peg any pay, any element of paid leave, to the birthdate. So to give a simple example, if a company says ‘right, we’re changing our maternity leave policy, our shared parental leave policy. We’re now gonna pay 26 weeks of full pay, six months full pay.’ They will no doubt have a great marketing release and say, ‘You know aren’t we so progressive, and up with the times? Look we’re now paying dads six months full pay for shared parental leave’. But in the policy it will often say we pay the first 26 weeks. 

Rob Hanna: Yeah.

Joe Young: At full pay. And then we pay nothing or there’s a period of half pay or whatever. And now it is that first, the word first, that I call the birthday peg. It is pegging the leave to the birthday. And that means that in months 7 to 12, Dad would get paid nothing for any time that he takes up. I should just stress, when I’m talking about pay here, I’m talking about enhanced pay, not statutory pay, which is, which is a separate, separate thing.  

Rob Hanna: Yeah.

Joe Young: And the reason that I focus on this months 7 to 12 and why I think this is a really crucial distinction for firms to grasp and understand, is that it is in months 7 to 12 when men are much more able to be the primary caregiver to the child. In months 1 to 6, the mum may be breastfeeding.

Rob Hanna: Yep.

Joe Young: If couples are deciding to do that, it’s obviously quite a common thing for couples to decide to do. The mother has just given birth. She needs time to recover and there needs to be mother and baby bond. There might be, if the baby is slightly premature, there might need to be lots of skin to skin contact. All of these issues that mean it’s not really feasible for for the man to be the sole caregiver in months 1 to 6. If your companies is saying, ‘Well, we’re only gonna pay you for the first bit after childbirth’, I would argue that that company is effectively saying men should not be the primary carers to children. And I know that sounds like a bold statement, but the reason I back that up is because, as I say, women are so much more likely to need to take the leave in the first period of the birth year. And if men are taking the leave then, they will not be the primary caregiver to the child. Great, they will be there assisting. They will be helping keep the house clean. Helping wash the baby clothes, running out to buy the nappies. Doing all that stuff, which is brilliant. And I’m not saying –  

Rob Hanna: Yeah.

Joe Young: I’m not for one second saying that that’s not good stuff. But what it isn’t, is the man taking the primary caregiver role. And it is usually in the later months that there are basically no restrictions on the man taking that role, once you know, if the couple have stopped breast feeding, then there is absolutely no reason the man can’t take over the primary caregiver role. And so that is why I place so much emphasis on the, what the pay is in the later months and on this concept that I call the ‘birthday peg’.  

Rob Hanna: Yeah, so that’s where you’re saying, if companies or firms are thinking about things you know, I was going to ask you what could firms be thinking about to improve or to get better, is looking at that 7 to 12 months and what they can do to make that better to make it more attractive, right?  

Joe Young: Yeah, exactly. And what I would actually say is, it’s actually about firms saying, allowing the flexibility for a couple to use that enhanced pay period however they want. I’ll give two brilliant examples. Vodafone and Standard Life Aberdeen.

Rob Hanna: Yeah. 

Joe Young: Both recently announced shared parental leave policies. I should just say that Standard Life Aberdeen’s policy is absolutely amazing. It is 40 weeks full pay in any time up to the child’s second birthday.  

Rob Hanna: Okay, well, that’s really, really insightful. And I think you shared a lot of things there that people won’t have been aware of, most definitely. The other thing we talked about off air was about sort of, business risk and perceptions, perhaps of firms or companies, you know, not offering this. You know, maybe having a more hard line fast, ‘Well, you know, it’s always been like that. People in the past have got on with it, so you just get on with it’. What do you say to that kind of approach?  

Joe Young: So this comes back to what I was saying earlier about making this conversation not necessarily about family leave and flexible working andthis kind of thing, sort of similar to what I’m doing with the League, I’m creating competition, you know who are offering the best policy etcetera. And this point about risk, I think again is another one that is about moving this conversation into a conversation about how having good SPL policy is good for your firm’s bottom line.  

Rob Hanna: Good stuff. Okay. And, you know, I always ask people what they vision for 2020, cause I’m not going to be able to ask it in a couple more months, we’re gonna be in 2020. What do you plan to do? You mentioned you don’t really have any direct goals when you set out the blog, but it sounds like you’ve come on leaps and bounds, and, you know, you’ve got some great, fascinating projects and other things outside of that. But for the blog, where do you see that going or what do you, sort of, want to go into 2020 achieving?

Joe Young: The first immediate plan I have is to get round to responding to the government consultation and, on its new proposals to support working families. And that might involve a wholesale change of the way that shared parental leave operates. So I think I’ve got some things to say is – 

Rob Hanna: Yeah.

Joe Young: You can probably tell.  

Rob Hanna: [Laughter]

Joe Young: About how they might best do that. And that’s in the next couple weeks so I want to do that. And then the next thing is I want to continue doing as part of the blog, I’ve been interviewing other professionals.

Rob Hanna: Mhmm.

Joe Young: In law, but also in other sectors about their own SPL experiences in a bid to show people that there is actually more people out there that have done this already and then in various different ways and doing different things with their shared parental leaves. I’d like to continue doing that. Also with regard to the Shared Parental League, more and more companies every week are publishing new policies and I’ve seen an amazing interest on LinkedIn. I can expect around, you know, 1000 new views a day every time I post the, the League and you know.

Rob Hanna: And that’s amazing from a standing start because I mean, I follow your content, it’s great, it’s really insightful. But, you know, it really is a topic that people are taking a great interest in. So, you know, it’s just growing from strength to  strength.

Joe Young: Thank you. And so developing the League and ultimately it would be nice to, once I get enough firms to publish their data on their side, that I can split the league into sectors and maybe have a sort of sector focus for, for each area.  

Rob Hanna: That’s that’s really, really great. And I think you will continue to go on your, your, your journey. I’m thinking as well, people listening in here are probably getting quite ‘Wow, I didn’t know about all of this’. You know, ‘I really want to talk to Joe or would like to reach out to him more’. How can people contact you, tell us how they can get in touch and what’s the best forum for that?  

Joe Young: I think the best, the best way would just be look at my LinkedIn content. And if you’re inclined to do make, make a comment on any of the, of the content, always welcome. Or just send me a message on LinkedIn or if you get to the blog, my blogging email is there so quite a few people email me on that.  

Rob Hanna: What’s that? What’s that? Just do a shout out. 

Joe Young: That is Dad on SPL at gmail dot com.   

Rob Hanna: There we go. And you know, we talked about a very serious topic today about SPL, but outside, you know, what did you most enjoy about being, being a father? 

Joe Young: Yes, my partner raised a similar point that I kind of talked all the time about these policies – 

Rob Hanna: [Laughter]

Joe Young: And not the fact that I had, you know, six amazing months with my daughter kind of thing. So yeah, so I mean, there is just so much that I enjoyed about about that time with her. I suppose just feeling like you are getting to know your daughter properly and not just seeing her at the evening or at the weekend and having a sustained period where you spend 8-10 hours a day with this person, and you really get, you feel, it’s almost by the end of it that you’re hanging out with your best friend. Not your, not your daughter. 

Rob Hanna: Yeah, yeah.

Joe Young: It’s quite, it’s quite strange and, you know, we would do everything together from, from cleaning our teeth together, to going out to the park’s, going to cafes together. So you’re kind of living a life with your best mate and it’s great. 

Rob Hanna: Yeah. And a mini you! [Laughter]

Joe Young: Yeah, yeah. Or a mini half me.  

Rob Hanna: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. 

Joe Young: So it’s absolutely fantastic, and it’s it’s been a really amazing experience all through in terms of connecting with other people and other parents and speaking to them about their experiences and just seeing your, being able to see your daughter develop every day and you know new developments every day. She’s coming on all the time. And that’s really amazing, to, amazing to see. And that helps when, when I return to work, sort of putting everything into perspective and I think it is actually quite motivating to come back and think, well, wow, this is what I’m, this is what I’m working for now, you know.  

Rob Hanna: Yeah, yeah. Definitely got that intrinsic drive as a result of it, right?  

Joe Young: Yeah.  

Rob Hanna: Well, Joe, listen, it’s been an absolute pleasure having you on. I think I’ve certainly learnt a lot today from shared parental leave, so thanks for sharing that. All listeners listening in, do make sure you check out Dad on SPL. There’s lots of interesting content on there. And yep, Joe thanks so much once again. Over and out!

Joe Young: Thank you.

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