The Government has issued the draft regulations for Shared Parental Leave and Pay which are expected to become law from 1 October 2014 and will apply to babies due from April 2015.
The draft regulations set out the new statutory shared parental pay entitlements for parents. The press release states that:
‘The Act will also help people to better balance their work and home life with the following measures:
- From April 2015, mothers, fathers and adopters can opt to share parental leave around their child’s birth or placement. This gives families more choice over taking leave in the first year – dads and mothers’ partners can take up to a year, or parents can take several months at the same time;
- From 1 October 2014, prospective fathers or a mother’s partner can take time off to attend up to two antenatal appointments;
- Adoption leave and pay will reflect entitlements available to birth parents from April 2015 – no qualifying period for leave; enhanced pay to 90% of salary for the first 6 weeks; and time off to attend introductory appointments. Intended parents in surrogacy and “foster to adopt” arrangements will also qualify for adoption leave and pay;
- Extending the right to request flexible working to all employees from 30 June 2014;
- Replacing the current statutory procedure, through which employers consider flexible working requests, with a duty on employers to consider requests in a ‘reasonable’ manner.’