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Family friendly rights take effect

BY Daniel Gorry
Employment Law & HR
BG Purple

This month saw a raft of long-heralded changes to family friendly rights finally come into effect. Read on to find out about the main changes.

Shared parental leave - new system of shared leave whereby parents can opt out of the usual maternity / paternity schemes and share up to a year of leave. Leave can be taken continuously or non-continuously and consecutively or concurrently. 

Parental leave - now available for children up to age 18, regardless of disabled status or whether they were adopted in the last five years. 

Paternity leave - fathers (or partners) now have right to accompany pregnant women to two antenatal classes. Time off should not exceed 6.5 hours and is unpaid. Additional paternity leave has been scrapped in favour of Shared Parental Leave.  

Adoption - employees no longer need 26 weeks’ service to get leave (they do still need service for pay). The definition of “matched for adoption” has been widened to include fostering arrangements leading to adoption. Statutory adoption pay will now be paid at 90% for 6 weeks, then statutory rate for 33 weeks (used to be flat rate for entire 39 weeks). In addition, adopters now have the right to take time off to attend appointments. Time off should not exceed 6.5 hours and may be paid or unpaid depending on whether the employee is the primary or secondary adopter.  

Time to update your family friendly policies? Log on to our client area and download updated policies for your organisation, or contact your Legal Manager for more details.  

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