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Grand Parental Leave

24th April, 2015

There has been much talk recently about the new shared parental leave legislation which allows both partners to share parental leave during the first year of a child being born or adopted. There now appears to be further promises in the Labour party’s manifesto to cover the needs of grandparents who help with childcare.

The Labour party stated that, should they be elected, they would assist grandparents by allowing them to share up to 18 weeks of unpaid leave in year one or four weeks in any subsequent year, if the child’s parent is working.

Nowadays almost 60% of grandparents provide regular childcare and research has suggested that this has meant 1.9 million grandparents have either left work, reduced their hours or had to take time off to look after their grandchildren, resulting in a loss of income.

Labour believe that the new policy would consider the working family and how it has evolved over the years. Harriet Harman said the policy would “reflect the reality of family life” and “reflect the roles of grandparents” bringing about greater equality in pay and provide better, more flexible childcare.

There are several advantages to this proposed policy.

It would bring about further flexibility to the new shared parental leave legislation and it could potentially lead to reduced financial stress for the family.

It will be interesting to see how the policy will be applied and how it will overcome some of the more complex issues, such as who should take the time off to look after the child.

In terms of business, employers will want to see how this proposed policy could work and will no doubt want to ensure fairness, especially small businesses that may employ several family members. If that is the case several family members leaving at the same time could be catastrophic for the business.

For further information about shared parental leave or any of the proposed changes to employment law please contact Helen Watson on 01244 405565 or send an email to [email protected]

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