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Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 receives royal stamp of approval

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 was given royal assent on 13 September 2018, having started out in July 2017 as a Private Member’s Bill subsequently supported by the government.

The Act will offer, as a day one right, two weeks’ leave to any employed parents who lose a child under the age of 18 or who suffer a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Employees will also be eligible for statutory bereavement pay if they meet certain criteria, including that they have been employed for at least 26 weeks, ending in the week of the child’s death, and have given the correct notice.

Bereavement leave must be taken within 56 days of the child’s death and parents who have lost more than one child will be entitled to take leave in respect of each child.

The Act provides that regulations will be made in due course, setting out how parental bereavement leave and pay will be taken, and the eligibility criteria. This will include details of notice requirements, whether leave can be taken in separate blocks and whether employees who are not the biological parent of a child (but who have been significantly involved in caring for the child, such as step-parents) will also qualify for leave and pay.

The rights provided by the Act are expected to come into force in April 2020, but this will be confirmed by the regulations.

Under current legislation, employees have the right to take a reasonable amount of unpaid time off work to make arrangements following the death of a dependant. However, the cases on this limit the amount of time off to one or two days at most, save in exceptional circumstances. The change in law is therefore the first time in the UK that specific bereavement leave has been made both a legal right for up to two weeks and paid.

Employers may already have in place a policy on bereavement. Acas has published a  guide to managing bereavement in the workplace, which is available at http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4977

After the regulations have been published, employers should consider reviewing any existing policy or putting one in place, and should ensure that managers and HR are trained on the new rules.

Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 receives royal stamp of approval

Only 6% of Brits work 9am-5pm

A recent survey from YouGov has found that only 6% of Brits now work 9am-5pm and nearly half of those surveyed worked flexibly through job-sharing flexitime or compressed hours. The study shows that the most preferred working hours are 8am-4pm (chosen by 37% of the respondents) with another 21% saying they would prefer to start work even earlier at 7am and finish at 3pm.
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Only 6% of Brits work 9am-5pm

Publicise parental leave policies

A study conducted by the Liberal Democrats has revealed that only 4 UK government departments display their parental leave and pay policies on their external websites. This is despite the fact that the government has launched a new "Share the joy" campaign, intended to encourage more parents to utilise shared parental leave, and is spending £1.5 million to increase awareness.
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Publicise parental leave policies

The equality of parenting

In the week after Father's Day in the UK, insurance provider Aviva commissioned a report into Shared Parental Leave (SPL) polling 1,000 fathers and 1,000 mothers with children aged 16 and under nationwide. Despite the legislation on SPL being in force since 2015 and the recent government campaign "Share the Joy", intended to raise awareness (which we talked about here), half of working fathers haven't heard of SPL. This is particularly disappointing as nine out of 10 parents are reported as believing mums and dads should be given equal parental leave.
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The equality of parenting

Can flexible working improve the gender pay gap?

One of the biggest barriers to gender equality and pay parity is a continuing resistance by employers to embrace agile working. A recent joint study from flexible working specialists, Timewise, and Deloitte set out a five step plan to help employers establish and implement new working cultures with the aim of improving pay parity between men and women.
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Can flexible working improve the gender pay gap?

No requirement to enhance pay for shared parental leave

We blogged in June last year about the employment tribunal claim of Ali -v- Capita Customer Management Ltd where Mr Ali was successful in his claim for direct sex discrimination. Female employees at Capita were entitled to 14 weeks’ full pay on maternity leave whereas fathers were only entitled to two weeks’ full pay on paternity and shared parental leave. Mr Ali's wife was advised to return to work early from maternity leave after being diagnosed with post natal depression. Mr Ali asked Capita whether he could take leave instead and was told he could take shared parental leave on statutory pay. The Tribunal found that this was direct sex discrimination.
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No requirement to enhance pay for shared parental leave

Could paying dads to stay at home turn round failing shared parental leave programme?

Fathers must be given drastically improved rights or the Government’s shared parental leave policy risks failing entirely, experts have warned.

The policy, three years old this week, is meant to allow fathers to be more involved in their children’s early years and mothers to return to the workplace sooner.

But the latest official estimates suggest that as little as 2pc of eligible parents have so far taken up the offer, with a lack of awareness and equal pay issues being blamed.

Read more here – https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/could-paying-dads-stay-home-turn-round-failing-shared-parental/

Could paying dads to stay at home turn round failing shared parental leave programme?

A busy month for discrimination law

It’s been a busy few weeks for judgments; we round up the most recent discrimination cases:

When is cancer a disability?

What happens if an employer does not know an employee is pregnant when deciding to dismiss her but finds out before the dismissal takes effect?

Was forfeiture of LTIP awards unlawful age discrimination?

Click here to read the round up.

A busy month for discrimination law

UK Employment Law Round-up – March 2018

In this issue we look at some of the key employment law developments that have been taking place over the past month. In our case law review we take a look at ‘deemed disabilities’ under the Equality Act following a recent EAT judgment. We also look at what happens if an employer does not know an employee is pregnant when deciding to dismiss but finds out before the dismissal takes effect. The impact of the new taxation of termination payments coming into force from 6 April 2018 and the sponsor licence reporting process to be mindful of when involved in mergers and acquisitions are also covered.

https://www.dentons.com/en/insights/newsletters/2018/march/29/uk-employment-law-roundup/uk-employment-law-round-up-march-2018

UK Employment Law Round-up – March 2018

Fathers and the Workplace

The Women and Equalities Committee has published a report highlighting what it sees as the difficulties that fathers face in balancing their careers with childcare responsibilities. The report makes a series of proposals which aim to put men and women on a more equal footing when it comes to maternity and paternity leave. The most headline grabbing recommendation is that fathers should receive one month's leave at 90% of their salary (capped for higher earners) when their wife or partner has a baby and a further two months of paternity leave at £141 a week, without any loss of rights for the mother.
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Fathers and the Workplace