NI Employers Asked For Views On Parental Leave

Employers who have employees who may be eligible for shared parental leave are being urged to view DEL guidance and provide their views

Shared parental leave comes into force in England on Monday 1 December 2014.

In Northern Ireland, following a broadly positive response to the public consultation ‘Sharing Parental Rights, Extending Flexibility at Work’, the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) is seeking to introduce new rights for working families from April 2015.

The Work and Families Bill, which is designed in part to provide the basis for new rights to shared parental leave and pay in Northern Ireland, is currently progressing through the Northern Ireland Assembly. Subject to the Assembly process, working parents will be able to avail of these rights in respect of children expected to be born, or adopted, from April 2015.

Employer guidance on Shared Parental Leave

DEL is currently working on the guidance which will be available to employers in the run up to the new rules.

To ensure that the information provided is comprehensive and useful, DEL is currently asking for employers’ views on the first draft of guidance.

Employers who will have employees who may be eligible for shared parental leave are being urged to view the guidance and advise the department on:

  • what, if any, information is missing
  • what improvements could be made
  • whether you support the proposal to name what are effectively the same as ‘keeping in touch’ days, which operate under existing rights, as ‘Shared Parental Leave in Touch’ days i.e. SPLiT days, for the purposes of shared parental systems
  • any other feedback or comments

You can access the guidance and read more on the consultation on the DEL website.

You should provide feedback on the draft guidance before Friday 19 December 2014.