the recent Conservative Party Conference, Chancellor George Osborne announced
further changes to the rules on parental leave.
In her latest article for Jordan Publishing, Pam Loch examines what this
will mean for employers.
Under proposed new rules, working
grandparents could be paid £140/week and they could take leave for up to a year
to enable their sons and daughters to return to work more quickly after the
arrival of children. Grandparents who take this option will be entitled to
return to their jobs after a year. The change, if implemented, is likely to
fall under the current statutory scheme which would mean that parents can share
up to 50 weeks of shared parental leave and up to 37 weeks of shared parental
change reflects the increasing number of new parents who rely on their own
parents for childcare in the face of significant childcare costs. In many
cases, this could be the difference between whether working is feasible for a new
parent or not. The Chancellor also positioned it as an opportunity for
employers who want to retain older members of their workforce, who might
otherwise choose to leave the workforce permanently to care for grandchildren. These
are certainly two of the positive outcomes, but there are a number of reasons
for employers to be concerned.
proposal comes on the back of the introduction of Shared Parental Leave. It is
a change that is unlikely to be welcomed by businesses which many employers are
still getting to grips with the complexities of. In view of the ageing
workforce in the UK, the number of working people affected by the latest
proposals could be significant. We anticipate that the number of flexible
working requests would undoubtedly increase as these tend to be most common
among people who return to work after a period of parental leave. There could
also be the additional complications of ‘keeping in touch days’ being
hit are likely to be SMEs where staff often wear multiple hats and therefore
they could be expensive to replace temporarily if these proposals are
implemented. Employers who offer more generous maternity leave schemes than the
statutory minimum may also find themselves particularly exposed as they would
no doubt have to extend that to grandparents too.
are subject to a period of consultation, which will take place in the first
half of 2016. As things stand, this new legislation is likely to come into
effect in 2018 but it’s worth bearing in mind the impact it could have on your
business now as you plan for the years ahead.
If you need any further information on
this or have any queries please contact Pam at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pam Loch is the
Managing Director of niche employment law practice, Loch Associates Employment
Law, HR Advise Me and Loch Training.