New mums and dads could share 50 weeks of parental leave between them from April 2015, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced today.
Under the new plans, employers can negotiate with workers to divide the leave over a period of time or take it in one go. Employees, on the other hand, would have to give eight weeks’ notice for their shared leaves.
Clegg said that the changes will be “good for our economy”.
“We need to challenge the old-fashioned assumption that women will always be the parent that stays at home – many fathers want that option too,” he said.
The Institute of Directors has branded the move as a “nightmare for small businesses”.
Deputy director of policy Alexander Ehmann said: “Today’s announcements heap yet more burdens on struggling employers at a time when government should be freeing them to create jobs and wealth.”
Helena Morrissey, CEO of Newton Investment, said: “Time will tell if men do take up paternity leave, what we need is a high profile senior man to do it – to get people thinking you can still have a good career.”