Fathers to get newborn ‘maternity’ rights
Parents will be entitled to share existing “maternity” leave of up to 50 weeks between them under new proposals
Fathers are to be given the same rights as mothers to take up to a year off work to look after newborn babies, ministers will announce on Friday.
Under the proposals, which will take effect in April 2015, parents will be entitled to share existing “maternity” leave of up to 50 weeks between them – and have the right to return to their old jobs at the end of the period.
Employees will be able to request the time off in blocks, or split it up across the year, but businesses will be able to insist that all leave is taken at once.
The announcement is a significant victory for the Liberal Democrats, who fought off concerted efforts by Conservative Cabinet ministers to water down the proposals. These included the Tory Chairman Grant Shapps, the Defence Secretary Philip Hammond and the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, all three of whom are said to have argued that the measures put an unnecessary burden on business.
The shared parental leave of up to 50 weeks under the new plan does not include an additional two weeks reserved for the mother for recovery after birth. Employees will have to give their employer eight weeks’ notice of their intention to take shared parental leave, which they can do either before or after their child is born.
Employers who offer enhanced maternity leave above the statutory minimum will have to offer the same terms to fathers as mothers.
The changes may be of particular financial benefit to families where the mother is in a higher paid job than the father. However, the Government could not explain how its new rules would prevent couples from “gaming” the system by both claiming the enhanced maternity pay.
In addition, all parents of children under 18 will have the right to take up to 18 weeks of unpaid parental leave per parent per child per year. At the moment this right only exists for parents of children under the age of five.
Announcing the changes, which will require legislation, Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, said women should not have to choose between “a successful career or having a baby .... We want to create a fairer society that gives parents the flexibility to choose how they share care for their child in the first year.”
Mr Clegg added: “Many businesses already recognise how productive and motivated employees are when they’re given the opportunity to work flexibly, helping them retain talent and boost their competitive edge. This is good for families, good for business and good for our economy.”
- 1 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
- 4 Queen's first tweet: Reply telling Her Majesty to 'f*** off' broadcast on BBC News
- 5 #AskNigelFarage: Twitter starts hilarious Q&A for Ukip leader
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...