Business News for 26th September 2011 :: Paternity Leave - SA Law Offer Advice to Businesses
The changes mean that on top of the two weeks paternity leave fathers are already entitled to, qualifying fathers and adoptive fathers now have the right to take between two and twenty six weeks additional paternity leave where the mother has returned to work.
One of the main concerns raised by business owners we have spoken to is return on training investment for those employees who are trained at the company’s expense, who may then potentially leave the business for a long period of time. However, with a bit of time investment and careful management by companies, measures can be put in place to minimise any disruption or negative effect on your business.
Here are five top tips as to how employers can manage these changes:
- Update policies on maternity and paternity leave to reflect the new entitlement.
- Think about how best to provide information for staff on Additional Paternity Leave (APL), so you can find it easily if a member of staff is considering it and that the eligibility criteria is made crystal clear.
- Make sure employees are left in no doubt about any changes to the business’ policy on family leave.
- Think about whether you want to remove or amend any enhanced contractual entitlement to maternity/paternity allowances – and be sure to consult with employees about any proposed changes as you do this.
- Don’t forget you will need to consult with fathers away on APL about any proposed changes to terms and conditions and/or redundancies that may affect them in their absence.
If managed sensibly, there need not be any perceptible difference to the business – after all, it’s just about sharing the issues of time off for family duties across the workforce, rather than the issue resting solely with your female employees.
There are benefits to the business of boosted morale and a motivated workforce when managing that always difficult family/work balance.
Chris Cook is an employment Solicitor at SA Law, based in St Albans. SA Law specialises in advising small to medium-sized and owner-managed businesses.
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