0370 270 6000

Government propose new system of shared parental leave - but will employers be left holding the baby?

23 May 2011

The Coalition government has set out its proposals for a “radical” new system of parental leave from 2015 in its Modern Workplace Consultation. The government plan to replace the current maternity, paternity and parental leave scheme with a system that aims to give parents greater choice and to facilitate shared parenting.

Proposals include preserving the existing paid maternity and paternity leave period but allowing for more flexibility. The proposals suggest that after 18 weeks, maternity leave be reclassified as “parental leave” which either parent can take off. Both parents would be able to take leave at the same time if they wanted to, and/or book it off in blocks.

We expect there will be concerns from employers about the practicalities of dividing leave to be taken up in one or more separate blocks, however, employers would be able to insist that leave should be taken over a continuous period if an agreement cannot be met.

The consultation period ends on 8 August 2011.

Related opinions

Vaccinations in the Workplace: a higher expectation than one may think

There is currently no legislation requiring employees within the UK to have the COVID-19 vaccine. However, a recent Acas survey found that approximately 22% of employers intend to require their new staff to have the COVID-19 vaccination, and 21% would require their existing staff to be vaccinated too.

View blog

Fire and Re-hire

In late March, P&O Ferries made 800 members of staff redundant instantaneously and with no notice, to then go on to replace them with cheaper agency workers. This sparked wide range shock and triggered government interest in introducing a new statutory code of practice covering fire and rehire.

View blog

Planning the future of mental health and wellbeing

Throughout the pandemic with the Covid-19 isolations and with many of us (still) working from home, there seems to have been sea-change, a recognition of the importance of mental health and wellbeing.

View blog

Trans Rights: A transitionary phase socially, politically and legally.

31 March was International Transgender Day of Visibility: a day to celebrate the transgender community whilst raising awareness of the discrimination they face on a daily basis.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up