Paternity Leave is taking a new shape

Shared parental leave was introduced in 2015 as a way of redressing the balance between maternity and paternity leave. The purpose was to allow mothers to transfer all or part of their maternity leave to the father, allowing them to return to work.

However, since the legislation was introduced, it has faced a number of criticisms. For example, one parent still has to return to work after their statutory leave ends, and it doesn’t fully allow families to bond or help with child care. For mothers, perhaps, who choose to leave work to take sole responsibility, the father is entitled to just two weeks paternity pay, without the option of transferring through shared parental leave.

Some businesses are leading the way, by introducing new schemes into the work place, allowing fathers to take much longer leave when they have children. One story hitting the news recently highlighted the case of an Aviva worker who took six months off after the birth of his son. Not only was this extra time a luxury to the new dad, it was paid time as well.

He was just one example of nearly 500 employees at Aviva who had taken advantage of the policy during the first 10 months.

Whilst this seems revolutionary, and no doubt many employers will be under pressure to follow suit, legislation of this type is still very much in its infancy. O2 and drinks giant, Diageo, are the only others that have gone public with their decision that they will be extending paid paternity leave.

There is absolutely no doubt that there is a greater demand for this kind of legislation, particularly where parents are forced out of a choice and need to return to work. Paid policies will be much more desirable to working parents – and they make up the highest percentage of the workforce. There may also need to be further support to smaller businesses, as they are the ones who are ample contributors to the jobs market, but are also more likely to take more of a financial hit.

If you would like any advice relating to paternity, maternity or shared parental leave policies within your organisation, contact the employment team at Downs Solicitors to see how we can help.

More blog posts from this author

The war over wills is on the rise

There has been a sharp rise in the number of disputes relating to wills, according to the Law Society. It is thought this is down to the complex nature and changing family circumstances, so it is wise to make sure your will is kept up to date.

Don’t make BYOD into a disaster

Working from home on mobile devices such as laptops could introduce new security concerns when returning to the office after lockdown - so now is the time to ensure all software and network security is up to date.

Covid-19 sees share prices plummet - but gift-giving surge

The recent slump in share prices has presented something of a rare opportunity. In fact, if you are planning to gift any investments to your family, now is the time to do it.

More blog posts from this sector

With the latest Government advice - Do I still need work from home?

The Government’s roadmap identified that until England reached Step 4 of the Roadmap, employees should work from home where they can. As we are aware Step 4 has been delayed from 21st June to 19th July 2021 and therefore, employers should continue with home working wherever possible until the 19th July.  

Changing an employee’s terms and conditions is challenging both from a legal and trust perspective.

British Gas has been in the media over recent weeks due to the “fire and rehire” approach with their employees.

What are restrictive covenants and why do I need them?

I own a start-up which grew very quickly and a few years ago I hired in a couple of senior personnel to help run the business. After 5 years, one of these senior hires is now leaving the business and going to a company which isn’t a direct competitor but operates in a very similar field.



Cobham

15A High Street
Cobham
Surrey
KT11 3DH

T: 01932 589599
F: 01932 505087

DX: 46102 COBHAM

Dorking

156 High Street
Dorking
Surrey
RH4 1BQ

T: 01306 880110
F: 01306 471230

DX: 57300 DORKING

Godalming

The Tanners
75 Meadrow
Godalming
Surrey
GU7 3HS

T: 01483 861848
F: 01483 431965

DX: 58308 GODALMING 1