Data file: maternity and paternity rights

The Employment Bill 2002 received the Royal Assent on 8 July. It has made some
significant changes to the rights of mothers and fathers in the workplace.
These should have an effect from April 2003.

For parents

– Working mothers will be entitled to six months’ paid and six months’
unpaid maternity leave

– The standard rate of statutory maternity pay and maternity allowance will
increase from £75 to £100

– Working fathers will be entitled to two weeks’ paid paternity leave

– Working adoptive parents will be entitled to six months’ paid and a
further six months’ unpaid leave

– Simplified rules governing maternity, paternity and adoption leave and pay

– Paternity and adoption pay will be paid at the same rate as maternity pay.
Couples decide who is entitled to adoptive leave and topaternity leave

– Parents of young children will have a right to apply for flexible workingl
Employers will have a duty to give serious consideration to flexible working
requests from parents of young children.

– Employers will only be able to refuse requests where they have a clear
business reason

For business

– New parents will be encouraged to stay in work rather than leave to care
full time for their new families

– Increased notification periods for a woman’s start and early return date
from maternity leave

– Advance recovery of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay from
the Inland Revenue

– Reimbursement of maternity, paternity and adoption payments made by
employers, with a full 100 per cent recoverable by small employers and a
further compensation payment on top

Textbooks

– CCH Maternity Manual published by Croner.CCH (www.croner.cch.co.uk). This
is a clear and practical guide drawing on the author’s first-hand practical
experience. It is published in a loose-leaf format with quarterly updates.

– Tolley’s Employment Law is a loose-leaf volume with an updating service
published by LexisNexis Butterworths Tolley
(customer.services@butterworths.com). Probably more suited to lawyers than HR
professionals. But, it does have an extremely useful question and answer
section that provides common sense solutions to practical workplace dilemmas.

Periodicals

– IDS Brief published by Incomes Data Services (www.incomesdata.co.uk) is a
twice monthly digest of case law, news and reviews and is essential reading for
employment lawyers and HR professionals.

– Maternity Newsletter is published by Croner.  CCH 10 times a year and is a valuable companion to the Maternity
Manual.

Specialist sources

Employment Lawyers Association. www.elaweb.org.uk
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. www.cipd.co.uk

General interest

The Maternity Alliance looks at pregnancy and new parenthood, 020 7588 8582.
www.maternityalliance.org.uk
Rightsnet provides information on welfare rights, specifically aimed at advice
workers. www.rightsnet.org.uk

Other sources

The Department for Work and Pensions www.dwp.gov.uk
The Employment Service www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk
Department for Trade and Industry www.dti.gov.uk
Department for Education and Skills www.dfes.gov.uk
Health and Safety Executive www.hse.gov.uk
ACAS www.acas.org.uk
Equal Opportunities Commission www.eoc.org.uk
Confederation of British Industry www.cbi.org.uk
The Trades Union Congress www.tuc.org.uk
The Employers’ Organisation for Local Government www.lg-employers.gov.uk

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