360 Diversity Welcomes Changes to New Paternity Leave Proposals
The diversity service provider 360 diversity welcomes changes in equality and diversity legislation regarding paternity leave. Nick Clegg’s plans will see the introduction of new paternity rights to new fathers taking time off when their baby is born. These changes mean that the mother and father can share blocks of parental leave for which they will be paid.
Stuart Bray, Business Development Manager of 360 Diversity, comments “360 diversity welcomes this news, and hopes that employers will embrace these changes. Historically, many households have centred around the female running the house even if in full-time employment themselves, and many men working late, and having little opportunity to develop relationships with their children.”
As it stands now, mothers can take 52 weeks in total, of which 39 weeks are paid at the statutory rate. Fathers currently receive 2 weeks paternity leave on statutory pay. Under the new proposals, which are planned to take effect from 2015, mothers will get 18 weeks of paid leave automatically. The remaining 34 weeks, 16 of which are paid leave, can be divided between them. Fathers will still receive their 2 weeks paternity leave on statutory pay after birth plus an extra 4 weeks paid leave making 6 weeks in total.
These changes will have several benefits for parents. Women on a higher salary will have the choice of returning back to work sooner. The father then has the opportunity to take the place of the mother for the last three months of her 9 month maternity leave. Thus, allowing the father to be more involved in the care of his child. As this practice becomes more common place the stigma attached to ‘stay at home fathers’ will be reduced. Men will also be able to consider working more flexibly to support their families in order to get a better work life balance. Overall the gender split in households will be reduced.
Stuart Bray adds “This legislation turns the emphasis into co-parenting, and encouraging men to view parenthood as a joint responsibility. Although many men will still shy away from taking this leave, some men, particularly those earning less than their partners, will jump at the opportunity to take advantage of this right.”
360 diversity is an online diversity forum and information resource which is available to private, public and third sector employers throughout the UK. It was developed to support organisations to take a holistic approach to diversity and to effectively implement and manage policies relating to equality and diversity in the workplace. For further information visit the 360 diversity website at www.360diversity.co.uk.
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- Stuart Bray
- Business Development Manager
- 360 Diversity
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