Children and Families Bill

A critique of the government's dilution of shared parental leave regulations.

The Institute of Employment Rights has published a briefing on the implications of the Coalition’s Children and Families Bill on workers. The Bill was introduced in February 2013 and is currently under consultation.

Included in the Bill are provisions for Shared Parental Leave, changes to the right to request working, and limited rights to attend antenatal appointments.

While we are in favour of such policies in principle, we believe the way they have been diluted by the government means that when they are delivered they will not be as powerful as they could be and may in fact hinder some working parents.

As authors Richard Beresford and Dr Simonetta Manfredi say: “Whilst there is much to be commended in the Bill, there remains a number of concerns that the proposals in the Bill do not entirely reflect the original aspirations of the Modern Workplaces proposals – those of flexibility, efficiency and fairness – and in practice might prove either ineffective in terms of achieving its objectives or too challenging for employers to implement.”