With today’s news highlighting the changes to paternity leave, meaning that each parent could take six months off work, now is the time to start preparing for the impact this may have on your business.
The government hopes to extend the measures with a fully flexible system of shared parental leave in April 2015. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the rights would allow men to become more hands-on fathers and stop women feeling they have to choose between a career or a baby.
The Institute of Directors described the new rights as a “nightmare” for the employer.
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 beginning after the baby is 20 weeks old.
However, this can only be taken as a single block – as can the leave the mother takes.
Under the proposed new arrangement, first trailed last year, the existing 52 weeks of maternity leave, other than the first fortnight for a new mother’s recovery, will be shared between the parents.
But, 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.
Further information regarding the new laws on paternity leave is available. Give Business Garage a call or drop us a line if you would like any assistance getting your company ready for these changes.