Government Guidelines - Flexible Working Hours
The Government extend the right to request Flexible Working Hours and confirm additional Paternity Leave Regulations will remain in force.
The Government has confirmed that the Additional Paternity Leave Regulations, implemented earlier this year by the Labour Government, will remain in force.
Additional Paternity Leave will effect parents of children due on or after 3rd April 2011 and will give employed fathers the right to take up to 6 months’ extra leave when the mother returns to work.
In August the Department for Business was considering whether or not the regulations should be scrapped. However the Government has now confirmed that the Additional Paternity Leave Regulations will remain in force as an interim measure for encouraging shared parenting from the early stages of pregnancy.
Daven Naghen, head of our Employment Law Team, said “Now that it is known for sure that the Additional Paternity Leave provisions will be going ahead in April 2011, women who are pregnant now are planning with their partners for next April. They will have the benefit of the flexibility that the Additional Paternity Leave Regulations allow. However employers now need to prepare their policies on Additional Paternity Leave so that they are in place for April 2011.
Paternity Leave Regulations will remain in Force
The announcement on Additional Paternity Leave Regulations was also made part of the plans of the Government to extend the right to request flexible working to parents of children aged under 18 years of age. Currently the right to request flexible working is available to parents of children aged under 17 and disabled children under 18, and carers of certain adults. The Government believes that this extension could effect a further 288,000 employees. The Government has also announced that later this year there will be a year of consultation on the possibility of extending the right to flexible working to all employees. Watch this space for more information!