Out in cold for spending winter with family

The English Cricket Board is the latest sporting body to appear to ignore
family-friendly law in its treatment of players.

Last week it excluded Graham Thorpe from its new central contracts, largely
because he chose to spend the winter with his family and new-born baby, rather
than go on tour.

Under the Parental Leave regulations, which came into force on 15 December,
an employee is entitled to three months’ unpaid leave to spend with their young
children, without having a detrimental change in contract.

"I see no reason why he should not be in the team," said Simon
Wilde, the Sunday Times cricket editor. "He had back problems, which he
seemed to have overcome, then he opted out of the tour for family reasons. Had
he not done so he might still be regarded as England’s best batsman."

The new central contracts are the latest bid by the beleaguered England
cricket managers to sort out its personnel problems, highlighted by Personnel
Today (1 February).

Last month Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson appeared to ignore
family friendly law by dropping David Beckham for taking emergency time off
with his son (PT, 29 February).

www.dti.gov.uk/er/parental_leave.htm

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