Paternity leave extension consultation closes on Friday

The consultation on allowing fathers up to six months extra paternity leave once the mother has returned to work ends this Friday (20 November).

Employers are invited to view and comment on the draft Additional Paternity Leave Regulations 2010 before they are put before parliament. Under the plans, the new paternity provision will be available during the second six months of the child’s life, and will come into effect for all babies born on or after 3 April 2011 – a year later than planned.

The consultation seeks employers’ views on whether the proposed regulations are straightforward enough for employers to implement, while ensuring that only eligible employees take part.

Employers also have the chance to comment on:

– whether they agree with the government estimate that 4-8% of eligible fathers will apply for the additional leave and pay

– a request for general views on the draft regulations, which are set out in the consultation document.

The consultation document includes a partial impact assessment of additional paternity leave and pay, setting out the government’s analysis of the benefits and costs of the new right.

Responses to the consultation can be submitted online.

Earlier this year the government abandoned plans to extend statutory maternity pay from 39 to 52 weeks, instead making way for the new paternity extension.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has previously warned the extra year’s preparation time for new paternity rights would do little to enable businesses to deal with extra paternal leave requests when they occurred.

A spokesman told Personnel Today: “The new rights are not something employers can prepare for. The CIPD does not think it is sensible or necessary for two employers to have to talk to each other to verify maternity or paternity leave, it’s just an added layer of bureaucracy.”

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