The Government is currently consulting on draft regulations regarding maternity and paternity pay.  Currently parents with a child under six, or a disabled child under eighteen have a right to request flexible working hours, and employers, have a duty, by law, to seriously consider their request.  Currently only 10% of requests are refused

The draft regulations will extend the right to request flexible working to those who are caring for adults.  Also considered under the draft regulations is the right to extend paid maternity and adoption leave from six to nine months.  With a proposal for this to be extended to a year by the end of parliament, and to give fathers an additional twenty-six weeks paternity leave, some of which could be paid if the mother has returned to work.

However assistance is not only being offered to those who are caring for adults or children.  The draft regulations also include guidance and help for companies who will be dealing with the new regulations.  The Government intends to introduce new measures to make the administration of pay and leave easier.  As well as aiming to keep administrative changes, resulting from new regulations to a minimum, and increasing flexibility for the employer and employee by enabling maternity pay to be paid on a daily basis.

If you wish to read or respond to this consultation please follow the links below.

http://www.dti.gov.uk/er/workandfamilies.htm

http://www.dti.gov.uk/consultations/consultation-1600.html

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