The Government has announced itsí
proposals for change as a result of responses to the consultation
undertaken on Parental Leave.
The main changes:
The right to take Parental Leave
will be extended to all parents with children up to five years old
as at 15th December 1999. The rules currently state that it is
applicable only if the child was born after that date. (Those
parents who now fall into this group will have to take their leave
over a period of just over three years, rather than the normal
An employee may take into account
employment with their previous employer when deciding when the
one-year qualifying period is met.
For parents of disabled children,
the period of leave will be extended from 13 to 18 weeks.
There was talk about changing the
basis of the leave (i.e. introducing some form of standard payment),
and increasing the notice period from 21 to 28 days. Neither of these
options has been adopted, so the leave remains unpaid, and the notice
period remains 21 days.
There is as yet no date for the
implementation of the changes, but when they are introduced, employers
may need to amend their Parental Leave Agreements accordingly.