Extended Rights for Working Parents
In April, working parents' rights will be extended in the areas of:
- additional paternity leave and pay
- right to request flexible working
Details are below. Employers should update their policies to reflect these changes.
Additional Paternity Leave and Pay
Paternity leave rights have been extended for parents of children born or placed for adoption from 3 April 2011 onwards (or who enter the UK from this date in the case of overseas adoptions).
In addition to the existing right to take two weeks of leave around the time of the child's birth (or placement in the case of adoption), providing an employee has 26 weeks' or more continuous service at the qualifying week (i.e. 15 weeks before the expected date of birth or at the date they were notified of being matched with a child for adoption), the employee will have the right to take up to six months of additional paternity leave when the child's mother (or primary adopter) returns to work before using their full entitlement to statutory maternity or adoption leave.
Effectively, the employee will be entitled to take the outstanding proportion of the mother / primary adopter's statutory maternity leave and pay entitlement.
Some more specifics: Additional Adoption Leave cannot be taken before the child is 20 weeks old (or 20 weeks from the date the child was placed for adoption) and must end no later than the point the child is 1 year old, or 1 year from the date of the adoption placement. The minimum period of Additional Adoption Leave is 2 weeks and the maximum is 26 weeks.
Right to request flexible working
The existing right to request to work flexibly (which applies to parents of children under the age of 17, or 18 if the child is disabled, and to carers of adults) will be extended to cover parents of all children under 18 from April 2011.
If you need more info on the legislative changes, the direct gov website provides information written for employees on this.