25 Feb 2014
As of 5 April 2015 the regulations for shared parental leave will be changed, in an attempt to make workplaces fairer and give easier access to maternity and paternity pay. The new Children and Families Bill will receive Royal Assent in March this year.
Legal responsibilities for employers will be to ensure that requests by both men and women are treated equally. This includes preventing discrimination against men who seek parental leave, and also discrimination against women during the recruitment process.
In addition, mothers can end their 52 weeks maternity leave after the initial two week recovery period. Working parents can then decide how they wish to share the remaining 50 weeks of leave.
However, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) estimates that one in 172 fathers will request this leave, due to low paternity pay. The current rate is £136 per week, which could cause financial problems for parents. The TUC has requested for the Government to amend the Children and Families Bill, and raise paternity pay to 90% of average fathers’ or partners’ earnings for six weeks.
For more information on Shared Parental Leave go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/shared-parental-leave