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Parental Leave and Flexible Working Consultation

Napthens - May 16th 2011

The Government has published its Consultation on a new system of shared parental leave, and extending the right to request flexible working. The Consultation document is entitled “Consultation on Modern Workplaces”, and the deadline is the 8th August 2011.

The following is proposed:-

Flexible Working - Currently a right to request flexible working is limited to those employees with children under 17 years of age (or 18 if the child is disabled). It is proposed that the right to request flexible working is extended to all employees.

Flexible Parental Leave - 18 weeks’ maternity leave is proposed, then terming the remainder of what is currently maternity leave as “parental leave”. The parental leave may then be taken by either the father or the mother, or both. Most of the parental leave will be paid. Consultation will also deal with the finer details of the employee and employer agreeing how the parental leave is to be taken, e.g. on a part-time basis or in blocks.

Working Time Regulations - It has been proposed that the Working Time Regulations 1998 are amended to ensure consistency with the ECJ law. Namely, allowing the carry over of unused holiday if the employee has lost their chance to take paid annual leave due to the sickness absence, or maternity/paternity leave.