New “Shared Parental Leave and Statutory Shared Parental Pay” regulations introduced on 1 December 2014 have brought big changes to the employment landscape for new parents.  The government has estimated that around 285,000 working couple will be eligible to take shared leave with agreement from their employers.

The new regulations will, for the first time, allow parents and adoptive parents the right to decide for themselves how to share up to one year’s parental leave to care for their new addition to the family.  This means that eligible employees whose child is due to be born or placed for adoption on or after 5th April 2015 will have greater flexibility to tailor child care requirements to suit their own personal situation.

Under the new rules, following the mother’s compulsory two week recovery period, the remaining 50 weeks maternity leave can be replaced with Shared Parental Leave and shared with her partner.  The leave can either be taken in separate blocks or parents can chose to take it together as a family.

The regulations were designed to revolutionise child care arrangements between men and women, promoting equality and allowing women the opportunity to return to work should they wish to do so, safe in the knowledge that their partner can take the remaining leave to care for their child.

Employers should now be taking the necessary steps to update company policies and procedures and to train their managers.  Prospective parents should read through the new rules and decide whether they would like to take advantage of the new flexibility.

For a comprehensive guide to the new Shared Parental Leave and Shared Parental Pay rules, please visit our Blog where you can also download a detailed summary.

If you would rather speak to an expert right away then please contact us today and book a free 30 minute consultation with one of our specialist employment law solicitors.

Tel: 01245 893400

The Backhouse Solicitors Team