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Businesses across England are ill-prepared for new rules on shared parental leave

Laws which have just come into force in the past week mean new mums will take the first two weeks after birth, but the remaining 50 weeks can be shared between mums and dads.

However, a survey conducted by recruitment specialists Search Consultancy during a series of recent seminars on updates in employment law revealed that just 40 percent of the businesses in attendance felt they had adequate provisions in place to handle requests for shared parental leave (SPL) and pay.

Search Consultancy joined forces with leadership consultancy Seminars & Solutions, to host the workshops for a range of businesses last month. 

Around 180 firms across Manchester, Crawley, Leicester, Leeds and Liverpool attended events designed to highlight the main challenges arising from changes in Employment Law. 

The sessions help board directors, HR teams, operational leaders and line managers with people responsibility stay on top of critical legislative changes. 

The seminars covered shared parental leave, pay requests and entitlements but found that just 24 percent of companies planned to offer enhanced SPL pay despite 40 percent currently providing enhanced maternity leave pay.

The results also unveiled that only 35 percent of those surveyed will be expecting line managers to deal with SPL requests. 

Debbie Caswell, Search’s managing director for England, said, "At Search, we’re really passionate about helping our clients to stay ahead of the game when it comes to employment legislation. Our recent seminars have been hugely popular with the business community so we’re very pleased to be able to continue them throughout 2015. 

“The seminars give delegates step by step options along with commercial business solutions to successfully navigate and implement new legislative requirements, and provide an opportunity for guests to bring questions and key pain points to the table.

“The latest series of events highlighted some concerning statistics regarding the readiness of some businesses to deal with the new rules around parental leave – it’s so important to keep abreast of developments and prepare for employee requests.” 

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