Significant changes to family friends rights are now in place as follows:
• Shared parental leave is now available to eligible parents of children due to be born or placed for adoption with them on or after 5 April 2015. See our previous update on this here.
• Additional paternity leave and pay will not be available for babies who are due to be born after the 5 April 2015 or children who are placed for adoption after this date.
• Unpaid parental leave has been extended to parents of children aged between five and 18.
• Changes to adoption leave includes the abolition of the qualifying requirement of 26 weeks service and an entitlement for both parents to attend adoption appointments and they are now protected from any detriment for doing so.
• Extension of paternity and adoption leave to those fostering under the “Fostering for Adoption" scheme.
• Extension of shared parental leave, paternity and adoption to those adopting from overseas.
As these provisions are now in place employers will need to update their ‘family friendly’ policies. There are complex provisions dealing with eligibility and the procedure for requesting shared parental leave. Although take up of the scheme by parents is expected to be low, it is important that you have a policy in place should you receive any such requests.
To discuss updating your family friendly policies please contact Gareth Roberts or any member of the Employment team.