Shared Parental Leave/Time/Work/Antenatal

15th April 2014
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Shared Parental Leave


The Children & Families Act 2014 (“the Act”) has now received Royal Assent.  The Act contains a number of employment law changes including a new system of shared parental leave and the extension of the right to request flexible working to all employees.  The extension of the right to request flexible working is intended to come into force as soon as the 30th June 2014.

Shared Parental Leave

The Act creates a new right to shared parental leave and pay for eligible working parents.

All employed women continue to be eligible for statutory maternity leave and statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance in the same way as currently.  However if a mother chooses to bring her leave or pay or her allowance to an early end, eligible working parents can share the balance of the remaining leave and pay as shared parental leave and pay, up to a total of 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay.  Eligible adopters can also use the new system for shared parental leave and pay.

The Act also introduces changes to the existing adoption leave and pay regime, extending it to include prospective parents in the “fostering for adoption” system, and intended parents in a surrogacy arrangement who are eligible and intend to apply for, a parental order.  Adoption leave and pay will also reflect entitlements available to birth parents from April 2015, such as no qualifying period for entitlement to leave and statutory adoption pay being raised to 90% of salary for the first six weeks.

The government intends the arrangements for shared parental leave and pay to come into effect in relation to babies due and children matched or placed for adoption on or after the 5th April 2015.

Time off Work for Anti-Natal Care

The Act creates a new right for employees and qualifying agency workers to take unpaid time off work to attend up to two anti-natal appointments with a pregnant woman.  The right is available to the pregnant woman’s husband, civil partner or partner (including same-sex partners), the father or parent of a pregnant woman’s child, and intended parents in a surrogacy situation who meet specified conditions.  Provision is also made for paid and unpaid time off work for adopters to attend meetings in advance of a child being placed with them for adoption.  The government intends these provisions to come into effect from the 1st October 2014.

Right to Request Flexible Working

The Act extends the right to request flexible working to all employees from the 30th June 2014.  It also removes the statutory process that employers must currently follow when considering requests for flexible working.  In future there will be a duty on employers to consider requests in a “reasonable” manner.  ACAS has published a draft code and guidance on flexible working to help employers prepare for changes in the law.

If you require any advice or guidance on any of these subjects or any employment law related issue then please do not hesitate to contact Daven Naghen on 01775 722261 or email or write to Dav at Maples Solicitors LLP 23 New Road Spalding Lincolnshire PE11 1DH.

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Dementia Friends

Maples Solicitors are proud to announce that they have now joined to become Dementia Friends which is an Alzheimer’s Society initiative.

The private client department of Maples Solicitors prepare Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney on a regular basis and this often involves dealing with clients who are suffering from dementia. The private client team pride themselves on spending as much time as is necessary to assist all of their clients, but those suffering from dementia often require additional assistance and time to ensure that they have fully understood the legal documentation that they are creating. The private client department are regularly complimented on the way they deal with such clients, whether this be explaining things to them in a clear and uncomplicated manner, spending time with them or putting them at ease.

It is a misconception that anyone suffering from dementia cannot make a Will or Lasting Power of Attorney. Only if someone lacks sufficient mental capacity are they unable to make such a document. It is therefore vitally important upon any diagnosis of dementia that legal advice is taken as soon as possible to make sure that your affairs are in order so that it is easier for your family to deal with your affairs if you are unable to do so yourself.

To become Dementia Friends, Maples Solicitors have pledged to develop their understanding of dementia and continue assisting clients suffering from dementia with their legal affairs in a respectful, friendly and efficient way that is not daunting making the process as easy as possible.

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