By Amanda Deeley, Solicitor.
The government has published the Good Work Plan: proposals for families setting out consultations on proposed reform of three key aspects of existing UK employment law, as below:
Neonatal care leave and pay
The government is proposing to introduce a new right to neonatal care leave and pay. This right would be for parents of premature babies and parents of any newborn requiring specialist neonatal care following birth. It is proposed that this would apply to parents of babies who had spent a minimum of two continuous weeks in neo-natal care immediately after birth.
It is proposed that all such parents, regardless of their length of service, would be entitled to one week’s neonatal leave and pay for each week that the baby is in neonatal care, up to a maximum number of weeks.
Transparency of flexible working and family related leave and pay policies
The consultation looks at whether a duty should be imposed on employers to assess whether a role can be performed flexibly and, if so, to include that on the job advert when advertising the role.
Further, the government is seeking views on whether large employers with 250 or more employees should publish their family-related leave and pay policies on their websites.
Overall, the government is consulting on ways to encourage employers to be more transparent about their approach to flexible working and parental leave policies.
Reform of family-related leave and pay
This consultation invites views on making various changes to family-related leave and pay, including:
- increasing the amount of paternity leave and/or paternity pay available;
- reforming and simplifying the current shared parental leave regulations;
- introducing pay to incentivise the take-up for parental leave; and
- removing separate concepts of “maternity” and “paternity” leave and having a more unified approach where each parent has an equal dedicated entitlement of three months’ paid leave, with a further three months that can be split as they choose.
If you wish to read further information about any of the above consultations or if you wish to participate in the consultation process, they can be accessed here.
We will publish updates on the results of these consultations once they are published. However, if you would like to discuss any of the above changes or proposals, or you require support or advice on any employment law matters, please do not hesitate to contact the team on 0141 331 5150.