Budget 2016: Shared Grandparental Leave is Likely to Go Ahead

March 21, 2016
Shared Grandparental Leave

UK Chancellor George Osborne delivered the budget for 2016 on the 16th March 2016, and with it, came confirmation that shared grandparental leave was in the government’s pipeline.

The government is expected to begin planning talks as early as May, with a view to implementing this new legislation within the next 2 years. So we thought it might be a good time to take a quick look at what it is and what it means for HR professionals and business owners.

What is Shared Grandparental Leave?

You might remember an article we wrote last year about shared parental leave.

In a nutshell, this was new legislation that allowed new mothers to share their maternity leave with their partners, or with the child’s father.

Shared Grandparental Leave is going to be a very similar bit of legislation, but as you might expect, instead of only being allowed to share maternity with their partner or the child’s father, a woman will be able to also choose to share it with one of the child’s grandparents.

As far as we understand it right now, it only applies to one working grandparent, and cannot be used in conjunction with shared parental leave – but of course, it is not yet set in stone.

How Helpful is Shared Grandparental Leave?

We think this is a great step forward in the right direction. It is always working well in countries like Bulgaria, and if nothing else, it will provide new mothers with more options and flexibility in terms of how they choose to handle their work life after giving birth.

One way we think this will be super helpful is with single mothers. While shared parental leave is a great way of giving women a chance to get back to work sooner while their partner helps with childcare, this only really helps in situations where the woman’s partner or the child’s father is involved and interested in helping. What if a woman is faced with the responsibility of having a child, but has no support other than her own parents? With shared grandparental leave, this situation is made a lot easier and the woman preparing for childbirth will have a lot more options.

What do you guys think? Will shared grandparental leave be helpful for single mothers, or is it just another legislative nightmare for HR professionals to get their heads around?



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