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The Government has recently announced that they will be making changes to the current Parental Leave system. At the moment a total of 52 weeks leave is allowed and can be shared between the mother and the father.
The proposed changes would extend this arrangement to also include working grandparents. Additionally, it will be possible to split the statutory shared parental pay which is currently £139.58 per week or 90% of your average weekly earnings if that is lower.
By including grandparents in parental leave allowance the government hope to make it easier for single parents to return to work. Their quoted figures show more two million grandparents have chosen to give up a job or reduced their working hours in order to look after grandchildren. The new system will make this possible while retaining a small income from the statutory allowance. It will also enable them to return to work when this time comes to an end.
Will these changes help your family? They should at least give you more flexibility and perhaps enable you to return to work at a time of your choosing rather than making you feel obliged to take your full entitlement. You could, for example:
This way you are able to return to work within six months while retaining the full leave allowance within the family.
Now, obviously the sort of arrangement detailed above will not work for all families but perhaps it gives you a starting point for how you could make it work in your own particular circumstances.
Between these changes and extensions to childcare allowances it is now hopefully easier for parents to return to work when they choose.
To find out more about the current parental leave and statutory pay allowances please see the gov.uk website.
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