If you believe the rumours, Meghan has already had her baby and she and Harry are enjoying some family time together before uploading lots of baby photos to their Instagram page. Not bad timing for Meghan, coming a few weeks after statutory maternity pay rose to £148.68 a week. But will she be taking maternity leave or will she share her leave with Harry?
Shared Parental Leave was introduced four years ago to give parents more flexibility in how they care for their child in the first year following birth or adoption. They can share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay.
Sounds a good idea, right? The leave can be taken in blocks of three, so the mother could take a couple of months off and then go back to work for two months while her partner takes over at home. When the sleepless nights get too much the father can return to work and the mother can take over. Alternatively, parents can take 6 months off work together (for a tour of the Commonwealth perhaps).
Surprisingly however, only 1% of new parents eligible to take shared parental leave are using it - just 9,200 new parents last year. The TUC believes take-up is low because the statutory rates of pay are below the minimum wage and because parents on zero hours contracts or those doing agency work are not eligible. They have called for an overhaul of shared parental leave to address these issues.
Pay probably isn't an issue for Harry, but perhaps he could buck the trend and become the main carer for baby Sussex
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Shared parental leave needs overhauling. It's not an affordable option for most working families. "Without better rights to well-paid leave, many new parents will continue to miss out on spending time with their children. And mums will continue to take on the lion-share of caring responsibilities