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Shared Parental Leave

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 There is a lot of talk in the news at present about the Government’s new proposals to allow parents to share the maximum  leave available after the birth or adoption of a baby. First trailed some time ago, the proposal is that after the first 2 weeks’ compulsory Maternity Leave for a mother’s recovery, the remaining 50 weeks may be shared between the parents, largely as they wish.

There will be some restrictions such as the right for employers to insist that the leave each parent takes be confined to a continuous block. This would help avoid the disruption inherent in an employee taking, for instance, a month off, then returning to work for a month while their partner takes a month off, then repeating the routine.

The Government’s stated aim is to encourage women to challenge the assumption that they will always be the parent that stays home and gives up their career to look after the children while men continue to work. The Government believes that providing flexibility for parents to make their own decisions about how much leave they will each take in the baby’s first year, will enable parents to make the decisions they want. It is felt that many parents feel restricted by the current regime.

It is proposed to introduce the new Shared Parental Leave in respect of babies born from April 2015. There will of course be a period of adjustment and a degree of cost involved with dealing with the increased administration required by the new regime.

We will be keeping you abreast of the developments as more information comes through. But if you do have any queries at this stage please do feel free to contact Clare Chappell