Good news for a change for employers!
The government has put its plans to introduce grandparental leave, a landmark proposal of David Cameron’s 2015 government, which was slated to be launched this year, on hold.
It is understood that the plans, which would have extended shared parental leave (SPL) to grandparents, have been temporarily put to one side while the government carries out an evaluation of the SPL policy in general. The findings of this evaluation are expected to be published early next year.
Plans to roll out leave to grandparents were announced by then-chancellor George Osborne at the Conservative Party Conference in October 2015, with the intention of implementing the policy by 2018. A consultation on the extension was due to launch in May 2016.
“In many families, grandparents play a central role in caring for their grandchildren and helping to keep down the costs of childcare,” Osborne told the Mail on Sunday at the time. “Increasing numbers of grandparents, however, also want to remain in work themselves.”
CIPD research, published in 2016, revealed that employers had varied views about the proposals. Just over a quarter (27 per cent) felt it was a good idea as many mothers relied on grandparents for childcare when they first returned following maternity leave, but a similar proportion (25 per cent) felt the proposed extension was a step too far.
The grandparental leave proposals would have extended statutory Shared Parental Pay to grandparents too. The current rate is £140.98 a week or 90 per cent of average weekly earnings, whichever is lower, for 37 weeks.