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Shared Parental Leave Scheme

Shared Parental Leave Scheme

In February 2013, the Children and Families Bill was introduced in the House of Commons. It implements, among other things, the family-friendly proposals contained in the government's Consultation on Modern Workplaces. The Bill will introduce a shared parental leave scheme.

Under this system, an eligible mother will continue to receive 52 weeks' maternity leave as a day one employment right. Following the completion of the two weeks of compulsory maternity leave post birth, the mother can choose to end her leave early and share the remainder of her leave with her partner. There will be new statutory payments for parents on shared parental leave with the same qualifying requirements that currently apply to statutory maternity and paternity pay.

The government has published a consultation document seeking views on how the shared parental leave scheme (to be introduced in 2015) should be administered.

The Bill will also allow partners of pregnant women and fathers of expected children unpaid time off to attend ante-natal appointments and prospective adoptive parents time off to attend adoption meetings.

Flexible working

It will also extend the right to request flexible working arrangements to all employees and repeal the statutory procedure for considering such requests. To this end Acas has launched a consultation on a draft statutory code of practice to help employers deal with the new extended right to request flexible working and the replacement of the current statutory procedure with a duty on employers to consider requests in a reasonable manner (both of which are being introduced by the Children and Families Bill).

Parental leave

The Parental Leave (EU Directive) Regulations 2013 have now been published and, among other things, increase the maximum parental leave entitlement from 13 weeks to 18 weeks per child. They will come into force on 8 March 2013.

For more information on any of the above, please contact us.

CTA large EMPLOYMENT BASICS

Written by : Marianne McJannett

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