New paternity rights will cause an administrative nightmare, say employers’ groups.
The new rights, to be announced today, will allow mothers returning to work after six months to transfer their unused six months’ paternity leave to their partner.
Fathers, currently entitled to a maximum of a fortnight’s paid leave, would have a statutory right to up to three months’ paid and three months’ unpaid leave. Gay couples will also be able to share maternity leave.
But employers’ groups have reacted negatively to the proposals.
David Frost, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said that the changes will prompt an administrative nightmare.
He added: “We believe the focus in these very difficult times should be on business getting out of this very deep recession.”
Stephen Alambritis of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said the real problem for employers was the administrative burden: “It’s not the pay, it’s not the leave – it’s the administration.”
Business minister Pat McFadden told the Financial Times that increased employment rights had cut churn rates for employers.