Shared Parental Leave - changing the culture of our workplaces!

The Government has confirmed its plans to introduce shared parental leave for new mothers and fathers from April 2015.  Nick Clegg has said that the new scheme will allow men to become more hands-on fathers and stop women feeling that they have to choose between a career and a baby. In contrast, the Institute of Directors described the new rights as a ‘nightmare’ for employers.

We have set out below the key elements of the scheme:
• The first two weeks of leave after the birth of a child will be reserved for the mother; 
• The remaining 50 weeks can then be shared between the mother and father; 
• The parent wishing to take leave, must give their employer at least eight weeks notice of their intention to take the leave; 
• Employees are limited to three requests to take or change their leave arrangements. Employers and employees will be free to agree further changes should they wish to do so; 
• Parents will be entitled to 20 keeping in touch-style days while on shared parental leave.  These days will be in addition to the ten keeping in touch days currently available to women on maternity leave.
There is certain to be further commentary on these plans as they progress through parliament and we will provide further guidance over the coming year or so.

Erica Dennett