All parents-to-be will be able to share up to an year of parental leave, according to new rules, which are set to come into force in 2015. The new rules will be announced by Nick Clegg and according to them, both parents will be able to share the 52 weeks parental leave in a way suitable for them, with the only exception of the first two weeks after the baby`s birth. After the first two weeks, mothers can get back to work and share the parental leave with their partners.
At the moment, new mothers can take a maximum of 52 weeks of leave after the birth of their child, while fathers are entitled to two weeks of statutory paternity leave of their own.
Nick Clegg says: “From 2015, the UK will shift to an entirely new system of flexible parental leave. Under the new rules, a mother will be able to trigger flexible leave at any point – if and when she feels ready. ”That means that whatever time is left to run on her original year can be taken by her partner instead. Or they can chop up the remaining time between them – taking it in turns. Or they can take time off together – whatever suits them. The only rule is that no more than 12 months can be taken in total; with no more than 9 months at guaranteed pay. And, of course, couples will need to be open with their employers, giving them proper notice.”
Back in time the idea of flexible parental leave has been scrapped, because of a strong opposition from businesses, backed up by Conservatives. The main reason for that opposition was the fact that estimations showed that this might have a negative effect on the whole business structure , especially for small businesses, having in mind the current economic situation.
In addition to the flexible parental leave, the fathers-to-be will be able to take unpaid leave, in order to attend medical consultations and appointments with the expectant mother “Lots of fathers will tell you that these moments are when it can start to feel real for them,” Clegg will explain. “This new right means no father will ever need to miss out.”