副总理给了 言语 on 13 2012年11月 announcing 的 extension of various pieces of legislation designed to assist working families. 继去年的“现代工作场所咨询”之后。 We now have a response from 的 Government on to two strands of 的 consultation, 灵活的育儿假 和 灵活的工作. 的 reforms are driven by what Nick Clegg referred to as 的 “one million women missing from 的 UK economy”, namely women who would like to work but who find 的mselves locked out of 的 labour market when 的y have a family. He believes that this absence of women from 的 working environment is adversely affecting our economy.
So what does 的 Government propose? First, 的 Government will change 的 law so that from 2015 的 UK will have a new system of 灵活的育儿假 with 的 option to share leave more flexibly between parents 和 for longer. 的 primary idea is that both working parents will be able to share 的 current 12 months’ statutory maternity leave (combined with 9 months’ statutory maternity pay) either consecutively 要么 concurrently, in a minimum of one week blocks. Secondly, as well as extending 的 权利 of adoptive parents to paid leave in 要么 der to avoid discrepancies with biological parents, 的 Government will increase 的 maximum period of unpaid parental leave from 13 to 18 weeks in March 2013.
Finally, 的 Government has also announced an intention to extend 的 right to request 灵活的工作, 这样 as flexi-time, compressed hours 和 working from home. Currently this right allows certain employees to request a change in hours, times 要么 location of work for 的 purpose of enabling childcare for children under 的 age of 17 (or a disabled child under 18, 要么 certain adults). This applies to parents 和 others, 这样 as adopters 和 guardians, responsible for 的 upbringing of children. 的 Government’s new plan is that from 2014 this right will be extended to all employees, albeit limited to 的 purpose of care, opening 的 right up to working relatives 和 possibly close family friends. Although employees will still have to have half a year’s continuous employment to make 的 request, 的 procedural requirements will be swept away leaving employers with 的 obligation to deal with requests “以合理的方式在合理的时间内”.Undoubtedly 的 Government’s plans will give parents more choice, but it is not clear that 的se changes will necessarily fulfil 的 Government’s vision of returning more women to work, 允许 employer’s to retain 的ir best staff 和 aiding an economic recovery. In relation to requests for 灵活的工作, as now employers can refuse any request made if 的y have reason to believe that 的ir business will be adversely affected. As for 的 sharing of parental leave, it is far from clear what 的 level of take up will be between couples 和 whether it will allow, as Nick Clegg is apparently seeking, better equality in 的 workplace 和 an opportunity for women to fulfil 的ir working ambitions.