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A problem shared….?

11 March 2014

On Friday the government released the long awaited, and much talked about, draft parental leave regulations. In short, the rules for qualification and application of shared parental leave are complicated and concerns have already been raised that employers will not have enough time to amend policies and procedures by the time they come into effect in October 2014.

The draft regulations provide that employees who qualify will be entitled to a continuous or non-continuous period of leave of up to 52 weeks, less any maternity period taken by the mother. Employers have already complained that the proposed system will leave them short staffed at short notice. Provided they give at least eight weeks’ notice, mothers can make up to three requests to share their maternity leave. However, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is urging employers to respond to the draft as part of the ongoing consultation because they want to make the new system “as simple to use as possible”.

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