The main proposals are as follows:
1. PARENTAL LEAVE
- employees (mothers, fathers and adoptive parents) will qualify if they have one year's continuous service.
- up to 13 weeks off over the first 5 years of each child's life.
- a minimum of four weeks notice must be given. Notice of double the
amount of leave if the employee wants to take more than two weeks at
a time e.g 8 weeks for 4 weeks leave;
- the employer can postpone leave where the needs of the business
make this necessary and it is reasonable to do so, but cannot
postpone it for more than six months.
- a special provision will allow fathers to arrange to take time off
straight after a baby is born or adoption of a child providing at
least three months notice is given before the week in which the birth
or adoption is expected.
- light touch regulation means there is no legal requirement for
employers to keep a record of parental leave taken.
- applies to children born after 15th December 1999.
2. MATERNITY RIGHTS
- qualifying period reduced from two years to one
- extended by a month from 14 to 18 weeks
3. TIME OFF FOR FAMILY EMERGENCIES
- if a dependant falls ill, is injured or assaulted, or gives birth;
- the consequences of the death of a dependant e.g. dealing with
funeral arrangements and to attend a funeral;
- a child is involved in a serious incident at school or during
school hours; or
- childcare or other arrangements break down e.g. if the childminder
or nurse does not turn up.