Government wants businesses to do more for new parents

On behalf of Attwaters Jameson Hill posted on Friday, November 4th, 2016

The government has called on businesses to do more to accommodate working parents.

It comes as the Shared Parental Leave Regulations (SPLR) come into effect. The SPLR allow mothers to share their parental leave, of up to one year, with their partner.

It is still compulsory for the mother to take the first two weeks, but the remaining 50 can be shared in a way that best suits the parents.

That could mean taking their leave simultaneously or taking turns, or a mixture of the two. Both parent’s leave must be taken in complete weeks. The couple would also need to negotiate with their employers if they wish to take their leave in discontinuous periods.

The SPLR came into effect on 1 December and will apply to any parents whose expected week of childbirth is on or after 5 April.

A recent survey from parenting website Mumsnet revealed that 39% of new dads had to use paid annual leave to spend time at home after their child had been born.

Four out of five parents said they would have liked to have had longer paternity leave, according to the survey.

Major employers including Deloitte, PWC and Shell have announced enhanced paternity packages for their employees. These companies employ nearly 100,000 people between them.

The government hopes more employers will follow suit. Deputy Prime Minister Nick said: “I’m delighted that Deloitte, PWC and Shell are taking positive steps in modernising the workplace by providing flexible working arrangements for hardworking parents.

“I’m calling on employers to set an example when it comes to offering flexible working arrangements so that working parents are empowered to make their own decisions in their own time. We know this boosts productivity, loyalty and retention of staff in the workplace so this is not just about common sense it makes financial sense too.”

Please contact us for more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of employment law.

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