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 redu