The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced this week that working grandparents will be able to share parental leave in the future. The plan would extend the current system, which allows parents to share leave and statutory parental pay.
George Osborne made the announcement at the Conservative Conference in Manchester on Monday.
The Chancellor’s plan involves extending the current system of shared parental leave – which allows a total of 52 weeks off – to cover grandparents as well as the child’s parents. Families will also be allowed to split statutory shared parental pay – which is 90% of average weekly earnings or £139.58 per week, whichever one is lower.
Grandparents who participate in the scheme will also have the legal right to return to their workplace at the end of the year.
Mr Osborne hopes the option will allow parents to return to work more quickly if they want to. He said more than half of mothers rely on grandparents for childcare when they first return to work after having a baby; “Research shows two million grandparents have either given up a job, reduced their hours or taken time off work to look after their grandchildren. Allowing them instead to share leave with their children will keep thousands more in the workplace, which is good for our economy.”
Further details can be found on the government website.
Vicky Medd, head of the Family department, said, “It is good to see that the government are recognising, in monetary terms, the important role that some grandparents play in helping out with their grandchildren.”
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