Greater Flexiblity under Shared Parental Leave reforms
6th February 2013
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Proposals to allow new parents to choose how they share a year’s worth of leave after the birth of their child have recently been unveiled by the government as part of their Children and Families Bill. The children and families bill will also extend the right to request flexible working to all employees, not just parents and carers

Shared Parental Leave

It is understood that the radical shake-up of maternity and paternity leave is designed to give parents greater flexibility about how they “mix and match” the care of their child in the first year. Under the new system Parents will be able to:

Employed mothers will still be entitled to 52 weeks of maternity leave as a day one right

  • Mothers can choose to end their maternity leave after the initial two week recovery period; working parents can then decide how they want to share the remaining leave
  • Fathers will gain a new right to take unpaid leave to attend two antenatal appointmentsW
  • There will be new statutory payment for parents on shared parental leave with the same qualifying requirements that currently apply to statutory maternity and paternity pay
  • Those who have adopted a child will be entitled to the same pay and leave as birth parents.

Flexible working

flexible working clockThe government wants to remove the cultural expectation that flexible working only has benefits for parents and carers, allowing individuals to manage their work alongside other commitments.

The new system proposes to:

  • Extend the right to request flexible working to all employees
  • Remove the current statutory procedure for considering requests. Instead employers will have a duty to consider all requests in a reasonable manner. (Source:www.gov.uk)

Business minister Jo Swinson  told People Management Magazine that current workplace arrangements were “old-fashioned and rigid”, and that the measures in the recent bill would “bring the way mums and dads balance their lives at work and at home into the 21st century.”

Business group the CBI also said that extending the babyright to request flexible working was a reflection of practice already common in many workplaces.

So, what flexible working practices do you have in place in your organisation?  Get in touch and let us know

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Mike B

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