The Government has announced plans to reform legislation so that both parents can share up to a year’s leave to look after their new born babies. Parents will be able to choose how they share the care of their child in the first year after birth.
At present mothers are entitled to 52 weeks maternity leave and they will still be entitled to this. Working parents can however choose how they share the leave. Mothers will have to take at least the first two weeks after birth and after that working parents can decide how to share the remainder of the leave.
At present fathers can take Additional Paternity Leave. This can only be taken for a period of up to 26 weeks and cannot be taken until 20 weeks after birth. It is hoped the changes will help mothers get back to work and fathers will be allowed to be more involved with raising their children.
The proposed changes are due to take effect from 2015.