On the 1st of December 2014, new regulations concerning shared parental leave and pay came into force allowing parents to take shared parental leave in the first year after their child’s birth or adoption. Although they will only affect children born or who are adopted on or after the 1st April 2015, employers should act now to ensure that their maternity/paternity policies are updated to cover these new changes.
Furthermore, the new amendments will include provisions for couples adopting from outside the UK and will give rights to the intended parents of a child born to a surrogate mother. Those fostering a child under the Fostering to Adoption scheme will also have the same rights to adoption leave as those adopting outside the scheme.
One final change of which employers should be aware is to the existing parental leave scheme. This will be extended to include children aged 5-18 (the current cut-off is 5 years old). This change has not been widely publicised and it remains to be seen whether the extended age limited will increase take up in practice.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Astons Solicitors for a no obligation conversation.
27th January 2015