Grandparents to share parental leave?

19 June, 2015

Grandparents could share parental leave to allow their children to go back to work early, David Cameron has signalled.

The Prime Minister is to examine the idea of extending the right to time off work to look after young children to wider family members.

The move would lead to a massive extension in the right to take time off when a baby is born into a family, but could ease the pressure on parents struggle to juggle the cost of childcare.

From this year, shared parental leave is offered to all new parents and allows the mother and father to split up to 52 weeks of leave.

The policy is designed to encourage fathers to take more time off with their newborn child, and would allow mothers to return to work.

But Labour wants to extend the offer to grandparents to be able to take paid leave from their jobs to help look after their grandchildren.

Labour acting leader Harriet Harman said: “We know that grandparents often help out. Most parents say they just could not manage without the grandparents, but increasingly those grandparents are not retired but are themselves working.”

Speaking in the Commons, she asked Mr Cameron: “Will the Prime Minister agree to look at how we can help grandparents get flexibility at work by allowing them to share parental leave?”

Mr Cameron indicated he was open to the idea, replying: “I am certainly happy to look at that because the right to request flexible working has been championed by this Government.”

At Watson Buckle we know that this will leave a financial strain on many employers. To make sure that you are fully compliant with the new rules, please contact us.