Children and Families Act 2014 approved by Parliament

18 March 2014

Shared Parental Leave and extending the right to request flexible working to all employees are two of the measures brought in under the Act to help individuals balance their work, home and family life.

From April 2015, mothers, fathers and adopters can opt to share parental leave around their child’s birth or placement. This gives families more choice over taking leave in the first year - dads and mothers’ partners can take up to a year or parents can take several months at the same time.

From 1 October 2014, prospective fathers or a mother’s partner can take time off to attend up to 2 antenatal appointments.

Adoption leave and pay will reflect entitlements available to birth parents from April 2015 - no qualifying period for leave; enhanced pay to 90% of salary for the first 6 weeks; and time off to attend introductory appointments. Intended parents in surrogacy and ‘foster to adopt’ arrangements will also qualify for adoption leave and pay.

From 30 June 2014, the right to request flexible working will be extended to all employees. The current statutory procedure, through which employers consider flexible working requests, will be replaced with a duty on employers to consider with requests in a ‘reasonable’ manner.

Further information: