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Use it or lose it paternity plans will give families greater choice and workplace flexibility

Use it or lose it paternity plans will give families greater choice and workplace flexibility
Chris Parke, CEO of Talking Talent
The government today launched the Modern Workplaces consultation which includes plans to introduce a new system of flexible parental leave from 2015, as part of a strategy to create a modern workplace for the modern economy.
Under the proposal, Fathers will be offered an extra month's paid leave in addition to the current two weeks' paid paternity leave and told to use it or lose it. The leave will not be transferable to the mother, in a bid to persuade more new Fathers to take time off.  Overall, the maximum amount of paid and unpaid leave per family would increase from 54 to 58 weeks, with the father being able to take up to 36 weeks of that.
Once the early weeks of maternity and paternity leave have ended, parents can share the overall leave allowance between them. In a change to the current system, this leave could be taken in a number of different blocks and both parents could take leave at the same time.
Employers can ensure that the leave must be taken in one continuous period if agreement cannot be reached. They will be able to ask staff to return for short periods to meet peaks in demand or to require that leave is taken in one continuous block, depending on business requirements.
Chris Parke, CEO of executive coaching company, Talking Talent (, which specialises in paternity and maternity workshops and coaching comments, The new paternity proposals are very progressive and will result in a greater number of Fathers getting involved in early stage of their childs life, which is a big step forward for families. Working parents will gain much needed choice and flexibility over how they take parental leave and share the responsibility for a child in its early life and, these radical proposals could even change the face of todays workforce altogether.
Most men today want to get more involved in their childs early life and many women, particularly those who are the main bread winners want to achieve a better balance in terms of taking maternity leave and returning to work earlier. Consequently, many families will welcome the opportunity to share parental leave.
Many businesses will find it hard to handle the financial and organisational impact of these proposals. They will have to work closely with their employees to plan their leave and ensure they manage their exit and return to work so it is seamless. It will be important too for them to establish support mechanisms for the business and their employees to ensure the impact of the additional paternity leave and parents working more flexibly is minimised.
Chris Parke, CEO of Talking Talent is available for interview on this issue. He can discuss how the new proposals will impact companies and employees, and he can also provide advice for businesses on what they need to do to ensure they get the right policies in place and ensure they handle the proposals.
Talking Talent is the only UK provider of paternity coaching has recently launched a new website to support working fathers. The company runs executive coaching sessions on maternity and paternity with many companies such as Citi, Barclays, Deloitte, Linklaters and Vodafone to handle maternity and paternity issues.


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