The Government has today published its response to the consultation on the administration of shared parental leave and pay. The consultation has been underway since February 2013 and the new arrangements are expected to be introduced for parents expecting or adopting children from April 2015. Key elements of the new arrangements include:
- A system of shared parental leave and pay which will allow working parents to share up to 50 weeks' leave.
- A right for fathers to take unpaid leave to attend two antenatal appointments.
- Adoptive parents to have the same rights to pay and leave as birth parents
- The extension of the right to request flexible working to all employees.
- The removal of the current statutory procedure for considering flexible working requests. Employers will instead have a duty to consider all requests in a 'reasonable manner', supported by an Acas Code of Practice (which is still in consultation) explaining what this means.
As a result of the consultation the Government has announced that it will:
- Introduce a procedural requirement for employees to provide a non-binding indication of their expected pattern of leave as part of their notification.
- Introduce a cap of three notifications for periods of leave to be taken.
- Set the cut-off date for taking shared parental leave at 52 weeks following birth (or adoption).
- Create provision for each parent to have up to 20 KIT-like days under shared parental leave.
The response to the consultation has left some areas somewhat vague so we hope the Regulations will provide greater clarity in due course!
To read the response document click here.