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Calls to reform family leave pay

Calls to reform family leave pay

A report is calling on the Government to reform laws surrounding paternity and maternity pay to simplify family leave for small businesses.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is urging the Government to introduce "flexible leave" through its ‘Flexible Working: small business solutions’ report.

The new system would allow parents to organise their own leave arrangements.

Under the current rules, women are allowed to take 52 weeks leave, 39 of these are paid on statutory maternity pay, while men can take two weeks paternity leave. Yet, while many women in the UK benefit from the full length of maternity leave, 37% of lower paid workers tend to go back to work within six months, compared to 11% on higher pay.

National chairman of the FSB, John Walker, said: “Laws surrounding maternity and paternity leave are complex and confusing to administer and can act as a barrier to small firms taking on new staff simply because they do not understand the burdensome system."