The Minister for Social Security, Deputy Judy Martin has lodged an amendment to her proposal for family-friendly employment rights in response to concerns raised by some businesses during recent Scrutiny hearings.
The draft Law will complete the roll-out of employment rights for parents first started in 2015. If approved by the States, the draft Law will introduce equal rights to parental leave for both parents and breastfeeding rights for mothers. A current review by the Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel has sought views from businesses on the proposed changes.
The Minister said: “I have listened to the views presented to Scrutiny by local businesses and I appreciate their concerns. I am lodging this amendment to address those concerns and to improve the position for businesses without detracting from the original policy intent, which is to improve the rights of families and support gender equality in the workplace.
The amendment contains three key changes to the way in which employees can take parental leave:
- increasing the notice period an employee must give of any changes to their parental leave dates from 14 days to 28 days
- parental leave to be taken in no more than three blocks (reduced from four)
- parental leave to be taken over a two-year period (reduced from three years)
The Minister continued: “The draft Law that I lodged with the States will complete a significant step in progressive employment legislation, supporting equal parental leave for men and women and encouraging businesses to provide breastfeeding facilities, to support employees returning to work after childbirth”.
This legislation supports the Council of Ministers’ Common Strategic Priorities, to put children first and to create a vibrant and skilled workforce for the future.
The States Assembly will debate the draft Law on the 30 April.