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Shared parental leave will affect all NI employers

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Rebecca Kincade on March 5, 2015 - 9:13 am in Advice, Featured Advice

The Work and Families Act (NI) 2015 will establish that after the initial compulsory two weeks, a mother’s remaining 50 weeks’ maternity leave entitlement can now be split between the mother and father from early April 2015.

This will have significant ramifications for business owners in Northern Ireland as they address legal and practical implications.

Rosemary Lundy, Employment Law Partner at Arthur Cox, who is running a series of seminars on Shared Parental Leave for business owners, said:

“Mothers of children born on or after 5 April 2015 will have the option to end their maternity leave early, and to divide the untaken leave and pay with their partner.

“For example, a mother could end her leave after 12 weeks, leaving 40 weeks (of the total 52 week entitlement) available for Shared Parental Leave. If both the mother and her partner are eligible, they can share the remaining 40 weeks between them, taking time off together or separately.

“From an operational viewpoint this is an issue that businesses need to address.”

The Arthur Cox seminars will offer advice on establishing internal policies and procedures to ensure that they are compliant with requests from their employees who will have the right to demand both continuous and discontinuous periods of leave.

Rosemary Lundy recommends early dialogue with staff facilitating better forward planning.

“As this new legislation requires a consistent approach when dealing with shared paternity leave requests, it may signal a review of any enhanced maternity pay that companies may have in place.”

The seminars will enable employers to familiarise themselves with the salient points of this new Act, as well as gathering practical tips around policies, procedures and avoiding claims. For more information please contact Rosemary Lundy or Emma-Jane Flannery at Arthur Cox on Tel: .

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