Parental leave extended

Employees
with children under five years old will be able to take more than three months
off work, under new measures announced by Trade and Industry Secretary, Stephen
Byers today.

At
present 13 weeks of unpaid parental leave is available to parents with children
under 18 months old.

The
Government aim is to bring UK law in-line with the EU under the Parental Leave
Directive, by giving all employees with children under five the right to take
parental leave up until the child’s fifth birthday.

This
extension will benefit nearly three million employees.

Byers
said, “Parental leave was a totally new concept in the UK when it was
introduced in 1999. It was important to introduce the right with a ‘light
touch’ approach to give employers time to understand it and its implications.

“It
has worked well and the time is now right to extend parental leave to all
parent will children under five.”

Employees
with disabled children are to have their parental leave increased to 18 weeks
and will be able to take it up until the child’s 18 birthday.

www.dti.org.uk

By
Paul Nelson

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