Government proposes more family-friendly working practices

21 May 2011
Government proposes more family-friendly working practices

A consultation has been launched to review maternity, paternity and parental leave to reflect families' more flexible commitments.

Areas for consultation include flexible working requests, working time regulations and equal pay. The consultation closes on 8 August 2011. 

Flexible parental leave
The government proposes to replace current maternity and paternity leave with:

  • Four months paid maternity leave and two weeks paid paternity leave around a child's birth, subject to the current qualifying periods. 
  • One month's paid leave for both the mother and the father
  • Seven months' flexible parental leave (four months of which are paid).

Flexible working
Proposals to: 

  • Extend the right to request flexible working to all employees
  • Replace the current statutory process for considering requests with a "duty" to consider staff requests in line with a code of practice.


Equal pay

  • To oblige employers who have discriminated against workers to conduct an equal pay audit, where the discrimination has concerned poor pay practice.

Respond to the measures
The government has invited responses through its online questionnaire. Visit:

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