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New laws for shared parental leave

The Bill aims to maximise the involvement of both parents from the outset by providing for new rights to shared parental leave and statutory shared parental pay for eligible working parents. Currently women are entitled to statutory maternity pay and this will continue under the new proposals. If they choose to end their paid leave early, the Bill seeks to introduce a shared right to pay and leave meaning that the father, civil partner or other qualifying person can use the balance of statutory pay and leave remaining. In addition, the Children and Families Bill creates a new right for a partner, civil partner, or other qualifying person to have unpaid time off work to attend with the pregnant woman at ante-natal appointments. It will also create rights for adopters to have unpaid time off work to attend at meetings relating to the adoption process. There is current legislation in place in respect of an employee’s right to request flexible working hours to help them care for their children or other dependents. The current statutory process is complicated and sometimes overwhelming for new parents who have probably not anticipated the full impact of parenthood, no matter how prepared they thought they were. The Children and Families Bill intends to make any request for flexible working hours easier for employees by removing the statutory procedure currently in place. Instead, there will be guidance issued by ACAS to explain the minimum requirements to be dealt with through an existing Human Resources process.The purpose of the Bill is to achieve equality with both parents.  The Children and Families Bill is in its final stages of amendment and looks set for legalisation. If you need advice on any Employment Law issue please contact our team on 01302 320621

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