A new law on Shared Parental Leave will be introduced on 1 December 2014 that will allow parents whose children are due to be born after 5 April 2015 to have access to a fully flexible system of parental leave.
Eligible parents will be able to take up to 50 weeks of Shared Parental Leave (and receive pay for up to 37 weeks of that leave). They will be able to use the leave however it suits them best, either taking time off together or taking it in alternating blocks.
Sarah Naylor, employment law solicitor, said: "Employers will need to put a policy in place to deal with this new legal right. We would recommend taking into account the need to liaise with other businesses and check notification of leave, especially if an employee's partner works for another organisation.
"They will also need to determine whether they will offer statutory shared parental pay or top it up with occupational pay – here it will be particularly important to consider their existing policy for maternity pay and ensure that all policies are in line with each other."
It's wise to make sure your policies are fit for purpose and don't expose you or your business to potential legal action. If you need advice or guidance on any aspect of Employment Law, please contact our specialist team on 01302 320621.