The government recently announced its plans to extend shared parental leave to include grandparents. The planned changes seek to increase flexibility and choice in parental leave arrangements and support working parents with the costs of childcare during the first year of the child’s life. Research suggested that almost 2 million grandparents have either given up jobs or reduced working hours, in order to assist with childcare arrangements and ease childcare costs. It is envisaged that the new system will also provide flexibility in working arrangements for grandparents, without the fear of losing their job. It is currently anticipated that the policy will be implemented by 2018 and the government plans to consult on the details of the plans early next year.
The extension of shared parental leave to working grandparents is likely to be met with a warm welcome. By ensuring that hardworking families are able to structure their lives and their childcare arrangements in a way that works best for them can only be positive. "The introduction of the policy is likely to result in more parents being able to return to work sooner if they wish to, which is also good news for employers. The one potential issue will be the complexity of the new legislation and whether it increases the bureaucratic burden on employers, something the government has tried to avoid in recent times," says Kate Fretten Employment Partner.
Our Employment Team, based in Christchurch, also cover Bournemouth, Poole and the New Forest. For a free initial chat, please call 01202 499255 and Kate or a member of the team will be happy to discuss any questions that you may have.