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Jo Swinson: Shared Parental Leave will help build a modern fairer workplace

Tuesday 14 October 2014

Jo Swinson, Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs, talks about the new right to shared parental leave giving flexibility and choice to parents.


Jo Swinson

Jo Swinson is Liberal Democrat MP for East Dunbartonshire and Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Jo Swinson, blog author

Becoming a mum or dad is an amazing, life-changing event. Enabling new parents to adjust to their new situation is in the interests of employers, as well as employees. The introduction of Shared Parental Leave means that from April 2015, parents will have greater choice in how they share the care of their child and time off work in the first year of their child's life. Under the new rules, mums will still take at least two weeks of maternity leave immediately after birth, but after that working couples can share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay.

Every family is unique and the new Shared Parental Leave regulations give real flexibility and choice to parents. Parents and adopters can choose when they return to work and dads and partners can spend more time bonding with their children during the precious early stages of their development.

The increased workplace agility that Shared Parental Leave will create is good for families, good for business and good for the economy. Businesses already recognise that employees are more productive and motivated when given the opportunity to work flexibly, and Shared Parental Leave will help employers to retain committed and knowledge staff.

Shared Parental Leave is just one strand of a wider programme of measures that the government has introduced to provide greater flexibility and opportunities for parents and families - including The right to request flexible working and increased access to childcare and school meals.

Together these measures are helping to create a modern flexible work environment, a stronger economy and a fairer society, which is something we all want to see.  

Shared parental leave information from Acas

Shared parental leave and pay

pdf icon Shared Parental Leave: a good practice guide for employers and employees [538kb]

Check The Acas Blog over the coming weeks for more blogs about shared parental leave from Stonewall, EEF and Acas.

1 Comment

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  • Posted by Adrienne Burgess, Fatherhood Institute  |  14 October 2014, 12:53PM

    For those families who are eligible, shared parental leave throws open the possibility of dads and mums sharing the breadwinning and caregiving more equitably in the vital first weeks of their child's life - something that can bring all sorts of benefits as the new family develops. It also provides benefits to employers who are able to retain the best male talent. We'd like all parents to have more freedom to share like this, and we'll be signposting dads and employers to the excellent new Acas guidance to promote this new opportunity as widely as possible. It certainly makes our life at the Fatherhood Institute much easier.

    Adrienne Burgess, joint CEO, Fatherhood Institute