Fathers win right to paternity leave of up to a year
Fathers in the UK will be given 50 weeks of paternity leave to look after their newborn children.
The new law, which will come into effect in April 2015, will allow fathers to share their parental leave with mothers. Couples will be required to give a proposed schedule of shared parental leave to their employers up to eight weeks before the leave is due to start and businesses will be obligated to agree to the proposed plan.
Parents will be given the flexibility to change their plans twice during their leave and will also have the right to unpaid leave in order to assist their partners in up to two antenatal classes. However, Nick Clegg’s idea of giving fathers a month of paid leave instead of the current two weeks was dismissed.
Some critics believe that not many fathers will take on the opportunity, as they will be worried about their job security. The Conservatives have agreed that fathers will be able to get their assigned job positions back if they take less than six months of leave.
British Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson, who is eight months pregnant herself, said that she hoped the change would help women tackle gender discrimination. “”Why does a man who works flexibly and part time get treated differently from the woman?” She said.
“It’s a symptom of how we do have cultural double standards in many workplaces, where for women to take flexible working or leaving early on a particular day to pick up the kids from nursery is deemed to be acceptable but for some reason we treat a man who is making the same choice differently,” she added.