The Government has allowed us to glimpse into the future and see how families could strike the work/life balance in years to come. Shared parental leave has been on the cards for some time, but it’s getting ever closer to becoming reality as Part 6 of the Children and Families Bill works its way through the House of Lords.
Once passed, the new law will mean that eligible mothers and their partners could be off work for up to 52 weeks, sharing as much as 39 weeks of shared parental pay. Couples will be able to take their leave together, but there are other options too. The mother could return to work after her compulsory maternity leave, leaving her partner to take the rest of the leave. Or the couple could decide to share their leave – in tag-team style.
New proposals have been outlined which include notice provisions, “Keeping in Touch Days” and the right to return to the same job. Draft regulations are expected to be published before the Bill receives Royal Assent, with the scheme expected to come into force in April 2015.