Reforms for shared parental leave and flexible working systems from 2015

The Government has today published the Children and Families Bill, which includes reforms to the way in which parents can share maternity leave as well as the extension of the right to request flexible working.

Under the new system of shared parental leave:

  • fathers will gain a new right to take unpaid leave to attend two antenatal appointments;
  • there will be new statutory payment for parents on shared parental leave with the same qualifying requirements that currently apply to statutory maternity and paternity pay; and
  • those who have adopted a child will be entitled to the same pay and leave as birth parents.

The Bill also extends the right to request flexible working to all employees and removes the current statutory procedure for considering requests. Instead, employers will have a duty to consider all requests in a reasonable manner.

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