Briefing: green paper: work & parents

When
does the consultation period end for the Green Paper, Work and Parents:
Competitiveness and Choice?

Employers
have until 7 March to get their submissions into the DTI.

What
are the paper’s main proposals?


Two weeks’ paid paternity


Any increase on existing unpaid maternity leave will be shared equally between
the mother and father


The flat rate of maternity pay – currently £60.20 per week – will be increased


Fathers will have the right to work reduced hours until the end of maternity
leave


Both parents will be able to opt to work reduced hours for as long as they
wish, when the maternity period ends

What
are the aims of the Green Paper?

The
proposals are aimed at making it easier for parents to work. They also bring UK
maternity and paternity rights in line with 
Europe

When
will it come into force?

The
DTI hopes to have a set of proposals by the end of March. Some will not need to
go through Parliament, but the ones that do will have to wait until after the
summer Parliamentary recess.  

Which
industries will be most affected?

Public
sector HR directors, for example in the NHS, are concerned about the impact of
paternity leave. And male-dominated industries like construction may struggle.
Employers are worried about the option to give both parents the right to work
reduced hours after maternity leave.

How
much will the family friendly measures cost employers?

Last
year’s Green Paper estimates that the recommendations will cost,


£8m, or £200 per employee as a one-off implementation cost of proposals


£5m for each additional £10 a week statutory maternity pay


£18m for each additional week of cover needed for maternity leave


£9m for each additional week of cover for unpaid maternity leave


£18m paternity leave


£1.9m for each week of cover if one in five working fathers reduces their hours
by 25 per cent

www.dti.gov.uk/er/g_paper/

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