Details of a new proposal for parents to be able to share 12 months of leave after the birth of their child have been finalised following months of discussions to ensure minimum disruption for businesses.
The new rules will enable women to return to the workplace following the birth sharing the “maternity” leave entitlement with the father so that he can be more hands on with looking after their new baby.
To come into effect in April 2015, couples will agree with their employers how they wish to share their eight week leave entitlement before it starts. Employers will have to agree to a proposed pattern of time off, which can be spread over a 12 month period, but will also have the right to insist that it is taken in a continuous block.
When the economy is stronger, discussions will continue on the possibility of extending paid paternity leave and pay.