THE Children and Families Bill has moved a step closer to reality after MPs passed the legislation at second reading last month.
It proposes a number of changes to children and family policies including:
- shared parental leave for parents and adopters – allowing mothers to end their maternity leave after the initial two week period and then allowing parents to decide how to share the rest of the leave
- a right for fathers and partners to take unpaid leave to attend two antenatal appointments
- a new statutory payment for parents on shared leave
- adoptive parents to be allowed the same pay and leave as birth parents
- a right for all employees to request a flexible pattern of work The bill will need to complete its passage through parliament and gain royal assent before becoming law.