Changes to shared parental leave proposals will benefit employers

The government has issued a response to its consultation on the administration of shared parental leave and pay. Shared parental leave is expected to come into force in 2015, and is being introduced by the Children and Families Bill currently going through parliament.

Commenting on the proposals, Ed Bowyer, partner in Hogan Lovells’ employment team, said: ‘When the government released its initial proposals on how shared parental leave will operate there was some concern among businesses about how the new right would work in practice. The degree of flexibility envisaged, with parents being able to make an unlimited number of requests to take what could be short periods of shared parental leave, gave rise to a great deal of uncertainty. 

’The changes to the original proposals address some of those concerns. Employers will welcome the limit that has been placed on the number of requests for shared parental leave that can be made. The fact that employees will also have to provide a non-binding plan of how they are intending to use their shared parental leave entitlement will also reduce the amount of uncertainty for employers. However, the overall scheme remains fairly complex and we look forward to seeing the draft secondary legislation, which will provide further detail of how shared parental leave will work in practice…

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