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Employee Benefits News

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27 Oct 2014

Equal Parental Pay Leave For Civil Service Employees

The government recently announced that as of April 2015, all Civil Service employees will be entitled to full parental leave pay, the Employee Benefits website reports.

Current legislation means that when a couple decides to take parental leave, only the working mother is entitled to full pay – receiving 52 weeks statutory maternity leave, with 39 weeks statutory maternity pay. For the father, he only has a statutory entitlement of two weeks´ leave, which is paid at the statutory amount.

When the new rules come into force, fathers will also be awarded the same rights so that parents can choose to divide leave between them if they wish. Fathers will have the opportunity to take additional paternity leave for 26 weeks, which is paid at a statutory amount if the mother returns to work and takes no additional leave.

The decision follows the government´s announcement in November 2013, which stated its objective to introduce shared parental leave as of April next year. It is hoped that these reforms will encourage other public and private organisations to start offering similar entitlements.

Commenting on the decision, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg stated: “I fundamentally believe it´s time for us to sweep away the outdated regulations and prejudices which still limit the choices of too many people in this country.”

“This means more fathers will be able to afford to take time off to spend caring for their newborn children. I want to see this change blaze a trail for other public and private sector organisations to follow, making this option the norm for more working families and increasing the opportunities available to both sexes to earn and care across our society,” he added.

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