Else Solicitors are warning West Midlands businesses to take notice of planned employment law changes to parental leave legislation.
The changes address maternity and paternity leave laws and give working couples the right to share time off. These rules come into force on 1 December 2014 and will apply to parents or guardians of children born or adopted after 5 April 2015.
Our specialist employment solicitors, are advising local firms to take action to ensure they are adequately protected before these landmark changes to UK employment law are implemented.
These developments are part of a government package of employment law changes that aim to encourage flexible working. It has been estimated that 4% of men will take up the shared option over the next 12 months but the figure is expected to treble by 2017.
Stephen Stewart, lead Employment Solicitor at Else, said: “Shared parental leave changes are imminent and employers need to plan so they can handle requests for up to 37 weeks of shared parental pay as part of a 50-week leave entitlement.
“These changes could prove very costly to unprepared businesses as they may be forced to hire temporary staff to help cover the workload.
“I would advise all firms to review, update, or draft new shared parental leave policies as part of their employment contracts and HR documentation.”
The current rules on maternity leave allow mothers to request up-to 52 weeks leave, including 39 paid. These will remain and so will the two weeks compulsory leave.
Under the new legislation mothers will be able to curtail their allowance and share it with the child’s other parent.
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