Submitted by Peter Thomson on 1 December, 2014 - 21:21
On December 1st the new regime of Shared Parental Leave came into effect. Employment legislation now recognises that fathers and mothers can share responsibility for caring for a new baby. This is a period of 50 weeks, in addition to the 2 weeks of paternity leave, which means a father can potentially take a whole year off to look after a new baby whilst the mother goes back to work.
This is another sign that the old assumptions about flexible working are no longer valid. Since professional women are now quite likely to be earning more than their male partners, there are economic pressures for fathers to take a major share of the parental leave whilst the mothers return to their careers. Since July this year, UK legislation has also recognised that it’s not just parents who want to work flexibly. Now all employees have equal rights to request flexible working and employers cannot discriminate on gender or parental grounds when considering a request.
These are all steps leading to a world of Future Work and employers need to be more prepared than ever to manage flexible workers. To help them, the Telework Association has set up a crowd-funding project to rewrite the Telework Handbook. See http://kck.st/1FzFuu0 to support the project.