Employers criticise plan to extend paternity leave

Employers have criticised Government plans to extend paternity and parental

The CIPD and the CBI are unhappy about the timing of the latest proposals – revealed
last week. They say employers have not had a chance to gauge the impact of new
parental and paternity leave regulations, being introduced in April as part of
the Employment Act.

The plans are outlined in the joint Treasury and DTI document Balancing
Working and Family Life, which proposes extending paid paternity leave beyond
two weeks, and extending parental leave rights.

Mike Emmott, head of employee relations at the CIPD, called the DTI
announcement ‘a stunt’.

"This does not look like joined-up government," he said. "The
first ever right to paternity leave does not even come into effect for a couple
of months.

"It is normal practice to monitor new legislation, and then decide
whether any changes need to be made."

The CBI said the plans to extend paternity and parental leave are being made
at a time when many firms can least afford the extra burden due to the weakened

John Cridland, CBI deputy director-general, said: "At a time when many
businesses are fighting a daily battle to remain competitive, the last things
they need are additional cost and administrative burdens.

"Firms cannot simply go on absorbing the extra costs. The Government
must recognise that ever-more employment legislation damages businesses and
destroys jobs."

Cridland added: "Acting now is premature, and at odds with the
Government’s commitment to review the situation in three years time."

By Ben Willmott


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