29 June 2023

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) has released a response to a consultation originally released, by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in 2019. The consultation explored reforming parental leave and pay, looking at achieving greater equality in parenting at work.

The results have been slightly (and a bit more) delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, when the departments involved were focusing resource on job retention and support schemes. However, we now have the official government response so let’s dive into it.

The main announcement is that new legislation will be brought forward to make changes to paternity leave. These changes will be:

  • give employed fathers and partners more choice and flexibility around how and when they take their paternity leave. They will be able to take the current entitlement of up to two weeks of leave in two separate blocks of one week of leave if they wish
  • give employed fathers and partners the ability to take their leave at any time in the first year, rather than just in the first eight weeks after birth or placement for adoption
  • change the notice requirements for Paternity Leave to make these more proportionate to the amount of time the father or partner plans to take off work. This will give parents more flexibility in planning to take the leave that they need.

They also point to the online tool launched in 2021 that assists parents in planning and using Shared Parental Leave.

The feedback comes from questions outlined in the Good Work Plan, which was also published in 2019, and explores the objectives of parental leave and how government decision impact those aims.

The consultation page also has links to the neonatal leave and pay response released in 2020 if this is of interest, or you missed it at the time.

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