Legislation that will bring into force various changes to maternity, paternity and adoption rights has completed its route through Parliament.
XpertHR has further details of what is covered by the new Act, including: new rights for prospective fathers, and partners of pregnant women, to take time off to attend antenatal appointments; changes to the rights for prospective adoptive parents and the introduction of entitlements to adoption leave; and pay for parents in surrogacy and certain fostering arrangements.
Draft regulations setting out the details of shared parental leave and pay were published on 5 March 2013.
The Children and Families Act 2014 received Royal Assent yesterday, later than originally planned, introducing a number of measures relevant to employers including:
- the extension to all employees of the right to request flexible working – this was originally due next month, but is now scheduled to take effect on 30 June 2014;
- the removal of the statutory procedure for considering flexible working requests; and
- shared parental leave and pay – expected to apply in relation to babies born after 5 April 2015.
Jenny Willott, employment relations minister, said: “We want these reforms to bring about a culture change in Britain’s workplaces, allowing everyone to better balance work with their personal life in the way that works for them.”
Willott added that the new system is good for business as it will create a more motivated, flexible and talented workforce: “Employers will be able to attract and retain women – from the boardroom to the shop floor – and prevent them from dropping out of the world of work once they start a family. Flexible working will also help widen the pool of talent in the labour market, helping to drive growth.”