New Help for Parents
Employee Management Articles
Submit Articles Back to Articles
Issued 28 January
Legislation to give parents more choice and flexibility in how they use
maternity and paternity leave will be introduced under Government plans
New fathers can take advantage of additional paternity leave and pay
during the second six months of the child’s life, if the mother wishes to
return to work with maternity leave outstanding. This will enable parents to
share a period of paid leave between them, giving families greater
flexibility in how they choose to look after their children.
In order to give employers time to adjust the changes will be introduced
for parents of children due on or after 3 April 2011.
Business Minister Pat McFadden said:
“The Government has transformed the help available to new parents with
increased maternity pay and leave and the introduction of paternity leave.
The balance between work and family life has changed for the better in the
past decade and these changes will give parents the chance to share their
leave will give families a useful element of flexibility and choice.
Harriet Harman, Minister for Women and Equality, said:
“Mothers will be able to choose to transfer the last six months of their
maternity leave to the father, with three months paid. This gives families
radically more choice and flexibility in how they balance work and care of
children, and enables fathers to play a bigger part in bringing up their
“We’ve doubled maternity leave; doubled maternity pay; introduced
paternity leave; more than doubled good quality affordable childcare places;
and introduced right to request flexible working.
“This is a further family friendly policy.”
The move comes as the Government publishes its response to a consultation
on the subject held at the end of 2009. The regulations will mean:
Fathers will be entitled to up to six months extra leave, which can be
taken once the mother has returned to work;This new provision will be
available during the second six months of the child’s life, giving parents
the option of dividing a period of paid leave entitlement between themSome
of the leave may be paid if taken during the mother’s 39 week maternity pay
period. This would be paid at the same rate as Statutory Maternity Pay
(currently £123.06);Parents will be required to “self certify” by providing
details of their eligibility to their employer. Employers and HMRC will both
be able to carry out further checks of entitlement if necessary.
The Government has tabled the regulations for Parliament to consider as
soon as possible. They will need to be debated and approved by each House
before they can be implemented. Subject to this, the Government intends that
the law be in force by April 2010 and have effect for parents of children
due on or after 3 April 2011.
Notes to Editors
1) Employed fathers are currently entitled to two weeks paid paternity
leave and mothers to 52 weeks maternity leave, of which up to 39 weeks are
paid. Employed parents are also entitled to a total of 13 weeks unpaid
parental leave until the child’s fifth birthday. Parents of children aged 16
and under have the right to request flexible working. These rights will not
be affected by the introduction of additional paternity leave.
2) Legislation already delivered by Government includes the extension of
Statutory Maternity Leave from six to nine months and increased Statutory
Maternity Pay from £60.20 a week in 2001 to £123.06 now, the largest
increase in maternity allowance since 1948 and the introduction of Statutory
3) A public consultation on the legal and technical aspectsof
Additional Paternity Leave & Pay took place between 25 September and 20
November 2009. The Government response to the public consultation can be
Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
About the Author
© Crown Copyright. Material taken from the Department for
Business, Innovation & Skills. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the
Follow us @Scopulus_News
Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2010-01-28 16:22:25 in Employee Articles