Parental Leave to be Extended to Four Months
News that didn’t appear to receive significant coverage within the media this week will give parents more rights to time-off.
Adopting the directive descriptively entitled “16945/09 + 5922/1/10 REV 1” without a vote, the European Council agreed on Monday (8 March) to extended workers’ rights to parental leave from three to four months for each parent. And in a clear effort to encourage both parents to avail of their rights, at least one of the four months cannot be transferred to the other parent (i.e. it is lost if not taken).
The directive makes clear that it will apply to all workers regardless of the type of contract they’re employed under – whether this is temporary or otherwise. Furthermore, workers returning from parental leave will also be able to request changes to their working hours for a limited period. Employers will have to consider and respond to such requests, taking into account both employers’ and workers’ needs.
The next steps for the directive will be for this to be implemented into UK law; as progress of this is made & a clearer timetable emerges, Employment Law Clinic will update these news pages & the advice available on the flexible working section of the site.