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Current Legal Updates
18 May 2012
Queen's Speech confirms plans for shared parental leave
The Queen’s Speech announced a number of Bills to be introduced which will have an impact on the workplace including the introduction of shared parental leave.
The Queen’s Speech confirmed amongst other things the Government’s commitment to reform employment law, overhaul the employment tribunal system and encourage earlier resolution of employment claims.
The most challenging change from an employer’s perspective is however contained in the Children and Families Bill and arises from the plan to introduce a new period of shared parental leave following the birth of a child. The aim is to allow parents to have greater flexibility in the way they plan when and which one of them will care for a child. The aim is to allow them to suit their own family’s needs. Some commentators believe this will play an integral part in staff engagement; others see it as another complex regulated system which employers will have to get to grips with. In reality will this planned change deliver the Government’s vision of parents sharing equally their child care responsibilities? Current studies show that so far the take up of paternity leave and parental leave by men has been low.
Whilst the detail of the new parental leave system has yet to be announced it is hoped that the Government has listened to the critics and will ensure that what is introduced is a straightforward and easy system to administer. We will let you know of any developments as they arise.
Helen Taylor, Senior Associate Solicitor
+ 44 (0) 1604 871143
This update is for general guidance only and does not constitute definitive advice.