We reported previously that the Government had committed to amending the current legislation on parental leave following a consultation to which it had received 185 responses.
Now it has published a draft Statutory Instrument (SI), the Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024.
Although the adopted version of this SI has still to be published, none of the main terms are likely to be changed before it comes into force on 8 March 2024.
The draft regulations set out changes to the way in which the statutory entitlement to paternity leave is exercised, by amending the Paternity and Adoption Leave Regulations 2002; the Paternity and Adoption (Adoption from Overseas) Regulations 2003; and the Paternity, Adoption and Shared Parental Leave (Parental Order Cases) Regulations 2014
The amendments make changes to requirements relating to notice and evidence, the period within which paternity leave must be taken, and the existing requirement that paternity leave be taken in one continuous period.
The main changes include the following.
- Amendments will take effect in relation to children whose expected week of childbirth is after 6 April 2024, and children whose expected date of placement for adoption, or expected date of entry into Great Britain for adoption, is on or after that date.
- Provision is made for situations where an employee has served a notice or provided information or a declaration under the provisions in force prior to the coming into force of these regulations. The employee will be deemed to have complied with any requirement in the amendments in these regulations to provide that information, declaration or notice.
- An employee will be allowed to choose to take either two non-consecutive weeks’ paternity leave (birth), or a single period of either one week or two weeks. The period in which paternity leave (birth) must be taken is extended from 56 days after the birth of the child, to 52 weeks after the birth. Similar amendments are made in respect of paternity leave (adoption).
- Details are given of the notices and evidence of entitlement an employee must give to an employer in order to take paternity leave (birth). This includes provision for an employee to vary any leave dates notified previously. Similar provision is made in relation to paternity leave (adoption).
Our HR comment: Government publishes draft paternity leave regulations | Consensus HR – Herts, Beds
Matthew Chilcott, FCIPD, ACEL, Owner of Consensus HR comments: “This is a minor change to the current law and to make Paternity leave more flexible and employee friendly when celebrating the arrival of their baby. The main difference is the period that the employee can take their Paternity leave being 52 weeks and will need to be managed appropriately by their manager / company as it is currently only 56 days! Employees will also need to ensure that they give the relevant notice and information to their employer to demonstrate their entitlement which at Consensus HR, we suggest is recorded on a user-friendly IT system such as Breathe HR, who we are partners.”
YOUR OUTSOURCED HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT.
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