Six months maternity leave to transfer to fathers
The government has announced that it will launch consultation on allowing new mothers to transfer some of their maternity leave entitlement to the father. Consultation on implementing regulations will begin shortly. The government intends that the law will be in force by April 2010 and will be effective for the parents of children due on or after the 3rd April 2011 (to allow employers to adjust to the measures).
As regards to administering the new system, parents will be required to “self certify” by providing details of their eligibility to their employer. However, employers and HMRC will be able to carry out further checks on entitlement if necessary.
Daven Naghen, Employment Law Partner, commented as follows:-
“This will enable families to have flexibility in that mothers with maternity leave outstanding in the second six months of a child’s life will be able to transfer up to six months of maternity leave to the father. Up to three months of that leave will be paid at the same rate as statutory maternity pay if the leave is taken during the mother’s 39 week maternity pay period. Employers will have to make adjustments to their staff organisation, to allow for the fact that male employees may take up to six months of “maternity leave” in certain circumstances.