Maternity & Paternity – Shared Parental Leave and Pay – Change Due April 2015

Although the legislative changes are due in October 2014 it is envisaged that the new rules on maternity and paternity leave and pay will apply to children born on or after 05 April 2015.

The government has been promising a shared system of maternity and paternity pay and leave for some years and the expectation had been that we would have the new system in place long ago. However, various problems have meant that the legislation has been postponed several times and the latest date that we have is April 2015

The new legislation will provide for a statutory right for fathers or partners of pregnant women to take unpaid leave to attend up to two ante-natal appointments. Interestingly that will be no statutory process for making these requests so Premier Legal would suggest that you have a company process incorporated into the staff handbook.

It is proposed (although not yet confirmed) that Keeping in Touch days (KIT days) will be increased from the current 10 days to 20 days. KIT days enabling parents to spend some time at work, for training or simply to get back up to speed before returning to work after leave. These days are paid for by the employer, but the employee does not lose any statutory payment or trigger an end of leave.

But, perhaps the most important change will be the right to share statutory leave and payments between both parents.

It should be noted that the legislation will add rights for adoptive parents and parents through surrogacy as well.

Employers should start to prepare for these changes, by updating maternity, paternity and parental leave policies. Premier Legal can provide or advise on bespoke policies for any business Call us on 0115 856 1625 for more information.