New fathers will be able to share maternity leave, under new laws to be announced by the Government.
David Cameron and Nick Clegg are reportedly due to announce the new “flexible parental leave” later this month, according to The Telegraph.
The introduction of the scheme however, will be delayed until October 2015, following a disagreement over the impact of the scheme on businesses.
Under the plans dads will be able to take time off work and claim state benefits throughout the majority of the first year of their baby’s life, if the mum returns to employment.
The new system will mean that either the mum or dad can claim parental leave and the allowance after two weeks, allowing the main household earner to return to work.
Following fears from women’s charities, mothers will still receive assistance automatically unless they apply to transfer it to their partners.
“It was decided to keep the current default system of assistance being given to women. There are also other safeguards to prevent vulnerable mothers, or those in families which do not function well, from losing their entitlements,” said a Government source.
“This is being introduced slowly and with great care to ensure that it does not undermine business during the difficult economic times,” the source added.
“This has taken a long time to develop as the system has to be robust enough to prevent fraud, with both parents claiming.”
Would you take advantage of shared parental leave?