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  • Lee Calver
  • 25 March 2015
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Shared parental leave changes to take effect from 5 April – is your business ready?

As we approach the start of April, discussions around employment law changes that will soon take effect are prevalent, with the biggest talking point regarding the introduction of shared parental leave.

Significant alterations to parental leave rights will come into effect as of 5 April 2015 and the changes will apply to parents of babies due on or after this date, and to adoptive parents who are matched with a child from 5 April onwards.

At the end of last year we produced a blog on shared parental leave, which can be found here.

Back in November we discussed the fact that very few employers had considered what these changes to legislation could mean for them and therefore were simply not prepared. While we are now less than a fortnight away from the new regulations taking effect, it seems as though businesses still aren’t ready.

According to a recent survey by law firm, Slater and Gordon, many small businesses are unprepared for shared parental leave.

More than one-third (36%) of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) surveyed admitted they were not ready to implement the shared parental leave scheme, while 44% of SMEs are worried about how the regulations will impact their business.

Slater and Gordon Employment Lawyer, Jim Lister, urged employers to plan ahead. He said a lot of concerns would be “alleviated” if processes are in place as early as possible.

He said:

“Businesses are not yet convinced that shared parental leave is a positive. But these changes are coming, and they present an opportunity for progressive businesses to integrate shared parental leave into the wider benefits package.

“I am confident that if the change is welcomed at the top of organisations and appropriate processes are put in place straight away, businesses can differentiate themselves positively in the eyes of their employees.”

International Workplace’s HR Consultant Tar Tumber will be discussing this and all the other significant changes to employment law at our next Facilities Management Legal Update on Thursday 30 April. Find out more about the FM Legal Update and to book your place for our popular one-day event.