Good Work Plan: Proposals to support families

22 July 2019

The Government has launched a package of proposals seeking views on measures to support parents enter, remain and return to the workforce. The consultation covers three areas: Parental leave and pay; Neonatal leave and pay; and Transparency of flexible working and family-related leave and pay policies.


Parental leave and pay (closing date: 29 November 2019)


Shared Parental Leave now offers mothers the flexibility to transfer leave to the father and has given families much greater choice over who cares for their new child in the first year. The government recognises that this kind of cultural change takes time, and evidence shows that mothers still take on the majority of the childcare responsibilities.


The government is committed to giving parents equality of opportunities at home and work. The recent Gender Equality at Every Stage: A Roadmap for Change (the Gender Equality Roadmap) sets out a range of actions that the government is taking to support women’s economic empowerment and close the gender pay gap.


Government is now seeking views on options for reforming parental leave, and the role it can play in achieving these objectives. In addition, an evaluation of Shared Parental Leave and Pay is currently being undertaken and the government will consider the responses to the parental leave and pay consultation together with the findings of that evaluation.


Neonatal leave and pay (closing date: 11 October 2019)


An internal review by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy highlighted that parents of premature, sick and multiple babies can experience significant challenges, particularly in cases where their baby or babies need neonatal care for a number of weeks or months. Evidence gathered so far suggests that current leave and pay entitlements do not adequately support parents in these circumstances. In response, the government is seeking views on a proposed new entitlement to Neonatal Leave and Pay for parents of babies who require neonatal care following birth.



Transparency of flexible working and family-related leave and pay policies (closing date: 11 October 2019)


Many employers already consider carefully how to offer roles that can be done flexibly. However, to help ensure this good practice is spread more widely, the government is consulting on measures to encourage all employers to consider advertising all jobs as flexible from the outset.


Also under consideration is the possibility of a requirement for large employers (those with 250 or more employees) to publish their family-related leave and pay and flexible working policies to align with the overarching approach to gender pay gap reporting. This would help ensure that job applicants can make informed choices and eliminates concerns around asking about employer policies which could discourage employees from applying to a wide range of jobs.



CIPP comment


During the course of the consultation period, the CIPP policy team will be surveying our members and the wider payroll profession. Further to this, we may also hold a think tank roundtable meeting to discuss the implications of these proposals, but we are mindful that there are several consultations running over the summer period so we will aim to schedule considerately.


Our policy think tanks are open to full, fellow and chartered members and invitations will be sent out directly in due course, however, if you wish to note your expression of interest on the three areas within this consultation, please email us at policy.