Changes to Flexible Working, Shared Parental Leave and Pay and Antenatal Appointments
The Children and Families Act 2014 is due to come into force on 30 June 2014.
The main implications are:
- The right to request flexible working will be extended to all employees with 26 weeks' service from 30 June 2014. Currently the right is limited to parents of children aged under seventeen or, if disabled, under eighteen or to "carers". Also employers will no longer need to follow the statutory procedure contained in the Flexible Working (Procedural Requirements) Regulations 2002. Instead, they will be allowed to use their current HR procedures but they must consider requests in a reasonable manner. ACAS has drafted guidance to help you prepare for these changes.
- There will also be a new right of shared parental leave and pay. This means that if mum chooses to end her statutory maternity pay or leave early, eligible working parents can share the remainder of the leave and pay (capped at 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay). This is due to come into effect for babies due and children placed for adoption on or after 5 April 2015. From October 2014 a pregnant woman's husband, civil partner or partner, the parent of a pregnant woman's child and intended parents in a surrogacy situation will be entitled to take unpaid time off work for up to two antenatal appointments.