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“Grand-Parental Leave” on the Agenda

It was announced this week at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester that grandparents are to be allowed to take time off work and share parental leave pay to help care for their grandchildren.

Chancellor George Osborne suggests more than half of mothers rely on grandparents for childcare when they first return to work after having a baby. He said: “Research shows two million grandparents have either given up a job, reduced their hours or taken time off to work to look after their grandchildren.”

Mr Osborne believes the scheme, set to be introduced in 2018, will particularly help single mothers return to work more quickly.

Currently, only parents are allowed to split statutory shared parental leave of 52 weeks, which is £139.58 a week or 90% of average earnings, whichever is lower.

Whilst some women’s groups have supported the change, the British Chambers of Commerce is taking a more cautious view.

Adam Marshall, executive director of British Chambers of Commerce said: “Another change to parental leave policy is the last thing businesses need after a decade of upheaval.”

A consultation period will start soon for those who oppose the scheme to have their say, but savvy businesses will already be thinking about getting their policies in place.

If you need to discuss how Shared Parental Leave can affect your business, contact solicitor Alison Close on 01625 531 676 or email alison.close@chlsolicitors.co.uk

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