25th January 2012
UK to implement new Parental Leave Directive in March 2013
It is understood that the new Parental Leave Directive, which increases parental leave entitlement from three to four months, is set to be implemented in March 2013.
In March 2010, the EU Council of Ministers adopted a new Parental Leave Directive (the Directive), which increased parental leave entitlement from three to four months. As a result, EU member states have two years to implement the Directive into national law, although Article 3(2) of the Directive allows member states an additional period of one year to implement it, if necessary to take account of particular difficulties.
In May 2011, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) launched its Consultation on Modern Workplaces which, among other things, made proposals for a new system of flexible parental leave. The consultation closed in August 2011 and the government’s response is expected early this year.
BIS has now confirmed to sources that it intends to use the additional year provided for by Article 3(2) of the Directive. It is believed that the Directive will be implemented in March 2013, rather than March 2012, because of the thorough review of parental leave undertaken as part of the Consultation on Modern Workplaces.
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