The final Shared Parental Leave Regulations have been published by the Government (just days before they come into force!).
The Shared Parental Leave Regulations 2014, to give them their official title, will enable employees who have babies due on or after 5 April 2015 to share up to one year’s leave.
The Regulations allow mothers to “curtail” their maternity leave and pay, and share the remaining parental leave with their partner. This means couples can either spend time off as a family, the mother can return to work before the year’s leave has finished, or parents can take leave in blocks.
In March 2014, the Government produced draft legislation for consultation, and delayed the implementation date to 1 December, rather than 1 October as planned.
The draft was criticised for its complexity, particularly regarding the numerous notifications employees must give to employers before they can take the leave. A revised draft in the summer did little to simplify things.
Despite a lack of formal legislation, a growing number of employers have already drafted policies. A recent webinar by Personnel Today, in conjunction with law firm Hogan Lovells, found that around one-fifth of employers were either well or very well prepared for the forthcoming legislation.
For assistance in this area, call the Chamber’s legal helpline – 0871 423 5239.