The Government has committed to introducing a year of shared leave for new parents by April 2015.
The Shared Parental leave proposals are designed to cater for a growing desire by men to play a more hands-on role in a baby’s first months. Today, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the rights would allow men to become more hands-on fathers and put an end to women feeling they have to choose between a career or a baby:
“We want to create a fairer society that gives parents the flexibility to choose how they share care for their child in the first year”
A fully flexible system of parental leave will be introduced in England, Scotland and Wales which will allow new mothers to trigger flexible leave at any point after the first two weeks’ of giving birth. Mothers and fathers (or of course same sex partners) will then be able to share the remaining 50 weeks between them by taking the leave in turns, in different blocks, or at the same time.
In an effort to allay 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. Employees will have to give their employer eight weeks’ notice of their intention to take shared leave. New parents will be entitled to return to the same job only if they take six months off or less. Parents taking more than six months off may return to a role that is similar but not identical. Read more