From 5 April 2015, a new right to shared parental leave will be introduced, allowing mothers/adopters to share their 52 weeks’ leave with a father/partner. Although, the first 2 weeks after the baby is born will remain compulsory maternity leave which the mother must take, so it is effectively 50 weeks that can be shared.
The current rights to maternity, paternity and adoption leave will remain the default position, however, parents/adopters will be able to choose to opt into this new scheme. From my observation of the shared parental leave scheme, the Government have proposed very detailed notice and evidential requirements which the mother and father/partner must comply with, before they may take shared parental leave. There are also certain rights about taking the leave simultaneously or alternately and that neither parent can take leave in more than 3 separate blocks. It is a mind field of complex and detailed provisions.
This means that both employees and employers will need to be alert to the process and procedures that need to be followed. You do not want to be faced with any pregnancy/maternity discrimination claims because an employee has suffered unfavourable treatment because you failed to correctly exercise this new right. This is where we can help!
We are considering delivering a training seminar aimed at employers about these new rules later this year. The cost would be £50 + VAT per attendee or we could deliver training in-house to both management and your employees at a fixed cost to be agreed.
We would be grateful if you could comment on this post if you would be interested in attending this training seminar.