Ministers have today launched a consultation on radical new plans allowing fathers to claim up to five and a half months leave after the birth of a child.
The proposals, which form part of the 'Modern Workplaces' consultation, would see a significant increase in time-off for new dads.
Under the current rules, which the government says are "too rigid" and "outdated", mothers are able to take 12 months off work, nine months of which are paid. Fathers are entitled to two weeks' paid leave.
But if the plans made it into law new mothers would automatically receive five weeks paid time off with fathers receiving an extra four weeks. In addition, couples would be allowed to divide another seven months, four months paid, between them.
- Extending the right to request for all workers who have been with their employer for 26 weeks.
- The government will consider publishing a statutory Code of Practice for businesses and will propose that employers should be allowed to take into account employees individual circumstances when considering conflicting requests.
- There are no plans to alter the current eigth business reasons for a business to turn down a request.
- The government said it recognises that legislation is not the only answer to promoting flexible working practices. Non-legislative measures are being developed to promote flexible working opportunities both for those with a job and for those looking for one.
- Employment Tribunals that have found an employer to have discriminated on gender in relation to pay, will order the employer to conduct a pay audit and publish their results. Except in some circumstances, such as where an audit has already been conducted.
Employment relations minister Edward Davey and business secretary Vince Cable explain the consultation: