LONDON, May 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Employers Need Expert Help with upcoming Legislative Changes reports ThomasMansfield
Many employers will be unaware of the changes that will be introduced to family friendly policies, parental leave and flexible working between now and 2015. Some provisions of The Children and Families Bill currently going through Parliament will make a significant difference to employment law and parental rights, and it's essential that employers inform themselves early on about the likely changes.
ThomasMansfield, employment law solicitors, can help businesses plan ahead to lessen the impact of new family friendly legislation and avoid the risk of leaving themselves open to wrongful dismissal cases. With a team of employment law experts and ThomasMansfield offices in London and the Southeast, the firm is ideally placed to advise businesses in the region on the implications of The Children and Families legislation.
So what are the key changes coming down the line? On flexible working, all employees with 26 weeks qualifying service will have the right to request flexible working arrangements from next year, and the employer will have a duty to consider the request and deal with it "in a reasonable manner". Employers will need guidance on how to deal with such requests without prioritizing unfairly, and in such a way that they avoid the risk of discriminating against or treating an individual unfairly.
Shared parental leave will be introduced in 2015, although the provisions may change as the legislation works its way through Parliament, it will certainly be the case that parents will have much more flexibility and choice about how they take their leave, and how they share it between the mother and the father. One significant change is that the mother will no longer have to return to work before her partner can benefit from shared leave. The mother can opt to convert the period of leave still remaining to her after her period of compulsory maternity leave has ended into shared parental leave and pay.
A right is also being introduced for the spouse or partner of a pregnant woman to take unpaid leave to attend two antenatal appointments with their partner.
The legislation will also bring provisions for parental leave for adopters and surrogate parents into line with maternity leave for the first time.
With the changes to employment law contained in The Children and Families Bill due to be introduced over the next three years, and some continuing uncertainty around the detail of some of the provisions, it will be vital for businesses to gain advice from experts in the area of employment law and family friendly issues before reviewing their own internal policies. ThomasMansfield is ideally placed to provide that advice.
SOURCE Thomas Mansfield LLP