Spotlight shines on parental leave

Employers are being asked for their views on a new system for shared parental leave and pay.

A consultation launched on 25 February will also look at how the new system will fit together with current arrangements for maternity and paternity leave and adopters and its findings will feed into the Children and Families Bill 2013, introduced earlier in February.

Business Minister Jo Swinson said: “We want to shatter the perception that it is mainly a woman’s role to stay at home and look after the child, and also that flexible working only has benefits for parents and carers. Employers too can gain from a system which allows them to keep talented women in the workforce and have more motivated and productive staff.

“The first thought we always had when designing this system was that it did not add significant burdens to business and was as simple as possible for everyone to use. This consultation will ensure we get the detail right for business and families.”

The government will be consulting on issues including:

  • bringing into line the notice periods to inform employers of the intention to take paternity leave and
  • eligibility criteria for shared parental leave
  • whether parents should have one year from the start of maternity leave or one year from the child’s birth date to use the shared parental leave and pay
  • how employment protections on the right to return to the same job, should work for shared parental leave.

Employment relations service Acas simultaneously launched a consultation on a draft Code of Practice for the right to request flexible working.

Under government proposals announced in November 2012, the right to request flexible working will be extended to all employees who have worked for their employer for 26 weeks or more and employers are obliged to consider all requests in a reasonable manner.

Both consultations close on 20 May.

Link: Consultation information

Posted in News.