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Major new extension of shared parental leave and pay to working grandparents announced

Major new extension of shared parental leave and pay to working grandparents announced

This week has seen the Chancellor, George Osborne, announce that he will extend shared parental leave and pay to working grandparents. (5 October 2015)

The changes will enhance flexibility and choice in parental leave arrangements, in a bid to support working parents with the costs of childcare during the first year of their child’s life.

Working grandparents play a central role in providing childcare to their grandchildren, and supporting young working families. Evidence suggests that nearly 2 million grandparents have given up work, reduced their working hours or have taken time off work to help families who cannot meet the high costs of childcare.

In total, seven million grandparents are involved with the childcare of their grandchildren. Estimates suggest that grandparents could in fact be contributing as much as £8bn every year to bridge the gap as work pressures for young parents increase.

Further evidence illustrates that more than half of mothers rely on grandparents for childcare when they first go back to work after maternity leave, with over 60 per cent of working grandparents with grandchildren aged under the age of 16 providing some childcare.

Of the working grandparents who have not had any time off work to care for their grandchildren, around 1 in 10 have not been able to do so because they have either been refused time off by their employer, or simply felt that they were unable to ask. The new system will give flexibility in working arrangements for grandparents, so they can help look after their grandchildren without fear of losing their jobs.

The government will consult on the details in the first half of next year. The legislation will be bought forward to enable the change, with the aim of implementing the policy by 2018. This extension of shared parental leave and pay to working grandparents aims to enable hardworking families the ability to structure their lives in the way that works best for them.

If you have any questions about how any of this could affect you personally, or you business, then please do not hesitate to call us on – 0115 9 985 245 and speak to a member of our friendly team!