The Government has today published the Children and Families Bill 2013, to bring forward major changes in the law relating to children and families.
The most significant of the employment reforms in the Bill are a new system of flexible parental leave and an extension to all employees of the right to request flexible working (to take effect in 2015 and 2014 respectively). Other family friendly employment measures include additional rights to time off for ante-natal appointments and changes to the adoption leave and pay regime.
We are currently awaiting the consultations on the administrative details of the flexible parental leave system and on the ACAS Code of Practice and Guidance on handling flexible working requests.
The Bill now begins its passage through both Houses of Parliament. We will continue to monitor the Bill and report to EEF members on its progress.
The Bill implements the employment changes announced in the Government’s response to the modern workplaces consultation in November 2012. (See Government announces plans on flexible parental leave and flexible working)
Download a copy of the Bill
Manufacturers already widely support flexible working and working parents, with many already considering requests for flexible working from all employees. Today’s extension of the right to request will have a limited impact on these employers. However, the introduction of flexible parental leave will mean significant change.
Commenting on the publication of the Bill, Tim Thomas, EEF’s Head of employment policy, said: “Employers and parents will need support adapting to this and Government must ensure the changes announced today complement existing business arrangements. Further complication to an already complex area must be avoided and businesses must remain free to agree arrangements which meet the needs of both workers and employers together”.
Find out more…
Our next series of Employment Law Update member briefings, running in February and March, will consider in more detail the Children and Families Bill and reform of family friendly employment law. We will look at possible challenges for members arising from the changes, particularly in relation to flexible working and flexible parental leave, and how you can start to prepare.
Member briefings will also provide a general update on legislative and case law developments.
Reserve your place at our Member Briefing - Employment Law Updates