New parents will also be able to divide their time off into as many extended breaks as they want as long as their employers agree, after a Coalition tussle over the plans.
The reforms will also extend parents’ existing right to request flexible working to all employees in an attempt to reflect the increased role of grandparents and other carers in looking after their grandchildren.
Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, said the changes would help to stop women feeling they have to choose between having a career or a baby.
The Government is publishing the final details of a significant shake-up which will cater for a growing desire by men to play a more hands-on role in a baby’s first year.
The traditional 52 weeks of maternity leave, other than the first fortnight for a new mother’s recovery, will be able to be shared between the parents from April 2015.
Not exactly the solution that I would have chosen myself but there we go.
And the responsibility comes from something I did over at the ASI (and here as well). My insistence that we don’t in fact have a gender pay gap while we do indeed have a motherhood pay gap. That being caused by career breaks to have and raise the babbies. This convinced a Lib Dem activist, who saw that shared parental leave would, while not entirely, at least partially spread the effect of those career breaks to fathers as well as mothers. Thus making a parents pay gap not a mothers pay gap. Which they see as rather fairer.
That’s gone up the Lib Dem policy making system and so there’s the announcement from Cleggy.
From small acorns great oak trees grow etc.
My preferred solution to the perceived problem would be to just shrug and accept it.