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Government announces extension of shared parental leave to grandparents
08 October 2015

George Osborne has this week confirmed that shared parental leave will be extended to grandparents from 2018.

The government has said that over half of parents rely on grandparents for childcare to enable them to return to work after maternity, paternity or shared parental leave, and some 60% of working grandparents in total provide some form of childcare. This means that around seven million grandparents have some form of childcare responsibility.

There will be many other grandparents who would like to take time away from work to assist with childcare but feel unable to ask or have been refused permission to take time away or to reduce their hours. This proposal will allow grandparents to take time away from work without being forced to leave. This, in turn, will allow parents to return to work, if they wish to do so.

Whilst many grandparents will have retired, a large number remain in some form of work. The new provisions are designed to provide further flexibility and choice to families and help working parents with the cost of childcare during the first year after birth.

The details of the scheme are yet to be determined and the government intends to consult on the proposals during the first half of 2016. It remains to be seen whether the scheme will be further extended in years to come.

For more information about the extension of shared parental leave to grandparents or to find out how the Employment team can help you, please contact Darren Smith on [email protected] or phone 0118 952 7112.

Consistent with our policy when giving comment and advice on a non-specific basis, we cannot assume legal responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement. In the case of specific problems we recommend that professional advice be sought.

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