Parental leave court case called off

The TUC has called off its European court case over parental
leave after the Government’s change of stance.

Last week DTI secretary Stephen Byers announced that the Government
was to allow all employees with children under five the right to 13 weeks
unpaid parental leave, bringing Britain in-line with other European countries
under the EU parental leave directive.

Previously Britain had only allowed employees with children
that were born after 15 December 1999 to take the parental leave.

The DTI has agreed that all employees with children under
five years old when the EU directive was incorporated in to UK law, 15 December
1999, will be entitled to take the time off work.

“Eighteen-months ago, the Government’s mean-spirited
approach stopped around 2.7 million parents from taking up parental leave
granted under European law,” said TUC general secretary John Monks.

He continued, “No doubt the employer lobby will recoil with
horror and complain of yet more ‘red tape’. But today’s news will not open the
parental leave floodgates. Whilst the leave remains unpaid, and can only be
taken in un-flexible periods of a week at a time, few parents will be able to
take advantage of it.”

See Personnel Today
this week (1/5/01) for full details of the new Parental Leave regulations.

By Paul Nelson.
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