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Year Of Shared Leave For Parents Pledged

Year Of Shared Leave For Parents Pledged

New rules allowing parents to share their maternity and paternity leave will come into force next year, the Government has announced.

The new arrangement is designed to encourage men to become more hands-on fathers and stop women feeling they have to choose between a career or a baby.

Shared Leave Effective April 2015The Government has committed to introducing a year of shared leave for parents by April 2015, something which Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg believes would suit the nature of modern families. Firms are advised to speak to employment law specialists to ensure they are prepared for the changes. At present, fathers and mothers can share some of the existing 52 weeks of maternity leave, with the father able to take up to six months beginning after the baby is 20 weeks old. But this can only be taken as a single block – as can the leave the mother takes.

Under the changes, however, the 52 weeks’ existing leave, other than the first fortnight for a new mother’s recovery, can be shared between the parents. The CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, has welcomed the plans for shared parental leave, although it warns that employers will need to adapt their approaches to workforce planning in order to keep up with the rapidly changing nature of work. In an effort to calm fears of the impact on smaller firms, bosses will have to agree any proposed pattern of time off and will retain the right to insist it be confined to a continuous block, with no more than two subsequent changes.

Our Employment team provides advice on the employment aspects of all major business decisions. For advice, contact a member of the team, call us on 01895 207892 or email employment@ibblaw.co.uk.