The UK government plan to change how parents can use their 52 weeks of allotted parental leave to care for their newborns.
The proposed reforms to the parental leave law will give parents greater flexibility on how they choose to care for their child during the first year of life.
If the changes are passed, a mother and father may elect to take parental leave together or divide it between them. The leave must be taken within the first 12 months of the child’s life, and the total leave amount must not extend beyond 52 weeks.
The primary aim of the reform is to encourage fathers to take on a greater role in their new baby’s early development and also help mothers return to the workforce at a pace that suits them.
The plans are part of a number of possible reforms to the Children and Families Bill and also include changes to adoption laws. The government is hoping changes to adoptions laws will increase the number of children being adopted and reduce potential delays.
The proposed adoption changes aim to strengthen support given to families and help overcome barriers concerning specific or partial ethnic matching.
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