Many employees find it tough to balance their work responsibilities with the demands placed on them in their home and family lives. This is never more obvious than with the return of schools this week – school drop offs and collections, preparing healthy lunches for fussy little eaters, extra-curricular activities to attend, homework battles and an increase in time spent stuck in traffic are all too familiar occurrences come September….
Employers can support their staff by helping them adjust to their new daily routine through flexible working options and/or reduced hours working arrangements. Employers, however, will need to manage these requests carefully, ensuring there are no substantially adverse effects on their business. Very recently, there has been a number of changes made to Parental Leave that employers should be aware of.
As an employer, you will now need to update your Parental Leave policies to reflect these new changes (If you use our Bright Contracts package, we have updated these for you already in the Handbook section!). You need to put in place a process for keeping Parental Leave records – these need to be retained for 12 years.
You should review every application for Parental Leave very carefully – weighing up the impact of this request for both the staff member and your business. Parental Leave can be taken as either a block period or as single days. Staff must give you 6 weeks notice of any leave they wish to take. You can postpone a Parental Leave application request, based on business needs, for up to 6 months.
There is no doubt that employers are increasingly supporting their staff by helping them to balance the demands of working versus homelife. In this current climate of skills shortages and demands for talented, committed staff, it is hoped that progressive steps such as flexible working options will enable parents, juggling these conflicting demands, to remain in the workplace and feel supported by their employer when doing so.
Book a demo of Bright Contracts today to find out how you can keep your Parental Leave policies updated and compliant with employment legislation.