Further flexible parental leave, but not until 2015Friday, January 21st, 2011
On 17 January, the Government confirmed its intention to introduce a new system of flexible parental leave from 2015. The introduction of additional paternity leave from April 2011 is viewed by the Government as a “step in the right direction” and an “interim measure”. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) will be publishing an initial consultation document that will explore proposals for the design of a more flexible system of parental leave and ways in which the right to request flexible working can be extended to all employees.
The principles on which the changes will be based are that:
- any new arrangement must absolutely maintain women’s guaranteed right to time off in the first months after birth, paid as it is now, and protect the rights of lone mothers
- the reforms must transform the opportunities for fathers to take time off to care for their children
- it must be possible for mother and fathers to share part of their leave, splitting it between them, in whatever way suits them best
- the new system must take into account the needs of employers and it must be simple to administer.