Brits back longer paternity leave - Palmers Solicitors

Brits back longer paternity leave

Most British men and women favour an extension of paternity leave, according to a YouGov survey.

Labour announced on 9 February that, if it came to power, it would extend paid paternity leave from two to four weeks and increase paternity pay by more than £120 a week to £260 a week, with the move paid for by savings in tax credits.

YouGov research carried out a survey of more than 1,600 adults and found that 55 per cent would support extending the amount of paid paternity to four weeks.

When asked to imagine that they and a partner had just had a baby, 53 per cent of men said that they would like to take more than two weeks’ paternity leave and 55 per cent of women said they would like their child’s father to do the same.

Meanwhile, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills is stepping up its awareness campaign around shared parental leave.

It issued a reminder on 18 February that, with eight weeks to go until parents with babies due on or after 5 April 2015 can start sharing up to 50 weeks of parental leave and 37 weeks of pay, they need to have an “all-important conversation” with their employers.

A total of 285,000 working couples a year are expected to be eligible for shared parental leave, with parents required to give employers eight weeks’ notice of the pattern of leave they intend to take.

Lara Murray, associate solicitor in Palmers’ employment law team, said: “Shared parental leave is designed to give working parents much greater flexibility in the way they care for their new baby or adopted child in the first year. However, there is no obligation on mothers and fathers to use it.”

“Employers need to be clear on their responsibilities under the shared parental leave regime and to ensure employment policies and procedures reflect the new rules. For further information on shared parental leave, or other parental leave and pay issues, please contact our employment law team.”