University of Reading cookie policy

We use cookies on to improve your experience, monitor site performance and tailor content to you.

Read our cookie policy to find out how to manage your cookie settings.

Wayne Knight's story

Shared Parental Leave enables eligible parents to choose how to share the care of their child during the first year of birth or adoption. Its purpose is to give parents more flexibility in considering how to best care for and bond with their child.

My Time on Shared Parental Leave:

"I am a senior technician in Technical Services supporting the School of Biological Sciences. I started my shared parental leave in March 2018 and was excited for some time at home and with high hopes of finding lots of activities to do. However I quickly discovered when it started that I did not know quite what to do with myself and what to do with my new daughter, Holly. For the first week I stayed at home, doing some small walks, feeling on edge and waiting for my wife to come home just to help and have someone to talk to, as a 6 month old baby does not have much to say! I spoke to a friend at work and she gives me a 5 step plan to make sure I got out and about. Soon I was going to baby sensory club and baby soft-play which give me the opportunity to talk to people who are in the same situation as myself. Despite the adjustment period, I soon settled into my new role. I did notice there were very few dads taking up shared parental leave, which seemed strange to me as it is an opportunity for fathers to spend valuable quality time with their children. I would highly recommend more dads to take advantage of SPL because the time I had off with Holly was so special to me and I will remember it for the rest of my life.

All I can say is don't knock it until you try it."