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Employers ‘in the dark’ over parental leave rules change

Just one in ten employers fully understand what the introduction of shared parental leave in April will mean, a survey by a Lancashire law firm has revealed.

The Employment team at Napthens solicitors questioned employers to gauge their knowledge of the forthcoming changes to the law.

Under the law, couples will be entitled to request to share their parental leave, meaning mothers could enable their partner to take extended leave. Parents will be able to share 50 weeks’ leave, with similar rules for those who adopt.

With the rules just under a month away, Napthens’ survey shows that while there is a strong awareness that changes are coming up, there is a lack of understanding of the full impact of the rules.

The survey shows that 65 per cent of employers are drafting or have implemented their own policies.

Kimberley Barrett-St.Vall, solicitor in the Employment team at Napthens, said: “Our research shows that employers are most concerned about how they will organise cover and the increased cost to the business.

“Meanwhile, one in five employers considered the concept of shared parental leave as good for business, with 65 per cent feeling that it would have little impact on their business.

“With the changes to the law so close, it’s important that all businesses understand their responsibilities and the rights of their staff, and plan accordingly. If anyone has any concerns they should contact their adviser.”

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