Shared Parental Leave to be Extended to Grandparents
The Government has announced that it will extend shared parental leave and pay to working grandparents by 2018.
It will consult on the detail of its proposal in the first part of 2016. The proposal would enable grandparents to share leave and pay with parents during the first year of the child's life. It will not assist with childcare in the longer term, although as employees grandparents already have the right to request flexible working and so can use this right to request a reduction in hours or a change to their working pattern to accommodate looking after grandchildren.
The Government says that:
- nearly 2 million grandparents have given up work, reduced their hours or taken time off work to help families who cannot afford childcare costs;
- half of mothers rely on grandparents for childcare when they first go back to work after maternity leave;
- 60 per cent of working grandparents with grandchildren aged 16 or under provide some childcare;
- in total, some seven million grandparents are involved in childcare; and
- of working grandparents who have never taken time off work to care for grandchildren under 16, around 1 in 10 have not been able to do so either because their employer has refused their request or because they felt that they were unable to ask.
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