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'Don't sweat' over Shared Parental Leave!

'Don't sweat the details and don't panic,' is the advice to employers on Shared Parental Leave from Sarah Jackson, chief executive of Working Families.

Commenting on the new Acas guidance Shared Parental Leave: a good practice guide for employers and employees, she said that it provided 'clear, concise information for employers and employees'.

'Shared parental leave is a significant opportunity for a new generation of parents and for their employers.  It offers employers a way into an early conversation with their working fathers and gives parents the chance to start their family life together, simultaneously on leave,' she said.

'This guidance from Acas will help to start that conversation and provides clear, concise information for employers and employees.'

'Don't sweat and don't panic'

In an interview with HR Magazine, she said that some of the technicalities of the new regulations might 'seem horrible' to employers.

But she continued, 'To the employers I would say "don't sweat the details and don't panic". By the time employees come to you with the forms the decisions will actually be fairly simple. There is plenty of advice out there for employees and employers alike.'

The new rules allow couples to share maternity or adoption leave and pay, for children due to be born or adopted from 5 April 2015.

Parents will be able to share a 50-week 'pot' of leave, and can decide to be off work at the same time or take turns, or a combination of both. Blocks of leave can be taken continuously between partners or in discontinuous chunks.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills estimates around 285,000 working couples will be eligible to share parental leave from April 2015.

Acas publications and services

pdf icon Shared Parental Leave: a good practice guide for employers and employees [786kb] can be downloaded for free on the Acas website, where further information for Parents and carers on Shared parental leave and pay is also available.

Acas experts can visit your organisation and help you develop effective policies for working parents; see Parents and carers for details.

Acas training on Maternity, paternity and adoption will keep you up to speed with all the changes surrounding Shared Parental Leave, as well as improve your understanding of the law in the way it relates to other family-relevant employment legislation.

For free, impartial advice and guidance visit Acas Helpline Online.

Visit the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects area for more information.


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