BRINGING a baby into the world is one of life’s most joyous occasions, unless of course you’re an experienced midwife when it probably all becomes a bit old hat after a while.

A couple of weeks off work to help you bond at home with your child is also a key component in helping with the child’s development.

But I’m sure I speak for most parents when I say the novelty soon wears off and you’re champing at the bit quite quickly to get back to work. Unfortunately only one of us normally can.

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It’s not that we don’t like getting our hands too dirty with the really nasty stuff that comes with newborns, it’s just – well actually, most of us men don’t really like getting our hands too dirty with the really nasty stuff and try to avoid it.

Fathers can, and do, play an integral part in a child’s development and we share the workload, or at least we should.

But I feel that Standard Life Aberdeen’s decision to give staff nine months’ parental leave on full pay when they have a child, regardless of gender, could have unintended consequences far beyond the pension giant’s plush floors.

Obviously, many will view it as great news, especially if you’re two members of staff at the company who are having a baby together.

However, in a wider context it could set a dangerous precedent if it is adopted across the board as many firms will struggle to implement it and it could cause serious staffing problems.

I’m not convinced that both parents should be granted exactly the same amount of fully paid leave – it should be one or the other but not both.

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If there is an employee off work for 40 weeks in one go then their shifts have to be covered by someone and while large firms like Standard Life Aberdeen can cope fairly easily, smaller firms cannot without additional expense.

Those firms that can also afford to implement it will be automatically at a competitive advantage as they will be able to attract some of the best young talent due to the benefits.

Also, what would happen to the public sector if it was adopted as law?
Many vital services, already struggling to cope, would be badly affected by staff being allowed to take such a long spell of paid leave.

Ultimately though, having a child is a lifelong commitment and it’s a bit of a stretch for even large corporations to extend paid paternity leave to more than 30 years which is, after all, a truer reflection about the age that children finally let go.