The Coalition Government is dedicated to “creating a shared system of parental leave from the earliest stages of pregnancy”. Given that the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister are both working parents of young families themselves, family friendly rights at work are shaping the Government’s agenda for employment law change.
It is therefore important that employers understand the proposed legislative changes and how to retain highly skilled employees when they become parents, whilst at the same time balancing their business’ needs with the rights and needs of employees with family responsibility.
Our specialist employment lawyers can help employers with all aspects of family friendly rights at work from drafting family friendly policies to dealing with the tricky mechanics of balancing the needs of employees with different family set ups. The day-to-day HR advice we give to our employer clients includes:
- bonus entitlement during maternity leave;
- how an employer should deal with an employee who needs time off because their child is sick;
- advice on flexible working requests;
- dealing with sickness or holiday entitlement of employees whilst they are on maternity leave;
- advice on paternity leave and the new system of shared parental leave, in particular in relation to the passing of data between the mother’s and father’s respective employers; and
- dealing with redundancies whilst employees are on maternity leave delicately so as to avoid a sex or pregnancy related discrimination claim.
We are also advising employers about the proposed extension of the right to request flexible working to all employees, not just carers and parents and how they can start preparing for flexible working during the Olympics now.
Furthermore, we advise senior employees who are working parents and who may be experiencing difficulties at work. For example we can assist you in a number of ways including:
- drafting an employment contract for your nanny;
- making a flexible working request in a way which is more likely to be granted by your employer;
- addressing if you feel you are being bullied, isolated or harassed because you work flexibly due to childcare commitments;
- if the fact that you work flexibly is adversely impacting on your career progression, bonus or salary increase; and
- if you need time off work to deal with a child with a serious medical condition and we can advise you about your rights generally whilst on maternity or paternity/parental leave.