14 August 2014 #Employment
In July 2014 the Government published the final Shared Parental leave Regulations. The new Regulations were introduced in order to offer greater flexibility for new parents in deciding who will take parental leave to look after the baby. (This topic was covered in a previous employment buddy blog at the end of November when the Government announced its commitment to introducing new regulations.) All employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service will get the right to request flexible working.
Since April 2011, fathers and mothers have been able to share some of the 52 weeks` existing leave; with the father able to take up to six months additional paternity leave beginning after the baby is 20 weeks old, once the mother returns to work. The first two weeks of such leave remain compulsory maternity leave, available only to mothers. Under the proposed new arrangement, the existing 52 weeks of maternity leave can be shared between the parents. It need not be one block as it was the case previously.
The new Regulations will come into force in December 2014 and it is recommended that employers will start drafting their Shared Parental Leave policies and should also ensure that their maternity, paternity and adoption policies are changed.