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02 Mar 2015

Businesses Warned To Prepare For New Parental Leave Rules

Company owners and managers are being advised to prepare for an expected influx of shared parental leave requests when new legislation comes into force this April, This Is Money reports.

It is predicted that 285,000 working couples will be eligible for shared parental leave each year, and they will have to give employers eight weeks´ notice of how they plan to split the 50 weeks of leave between them.

Experts are advising that it´s a case of ‘the sooner the better´ when it comes to business owners getting ready for this change. If they fail to prepare themselves and their employee packages in time, they may find themselves getting into hot water.

Glenn Hayes, a partner at Irwin Mitchell, explained further about the importance of co-operation on the employer´s behalf:

“It is vital companies deal with requests in the correct manner. Many businesses have been slow to prepare for this important change and in so doing have left themselves exposed to the risk of mishandling requests and inviting claims for discrimination,” she explained.

Similarly, employees need to start having these conversations with their bosses as soon as possible. While working fathers may find it difficult to discuss the issue with bosses at first, the benefits of having more time with their children will be worth it in the long run, say experts.

According to employment relations minister Jo Swinson: “Many employers are incredibly supportive and keen to offer mums and dads more flexibility. Employers will see the benefit in staff loyalty and providing women the option to return to work earlier.”

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