Updated Maternity and Adoption Leave Policies
This month, Simply-Docs has re-visited its Policies on Maternity and Adoption Leave, using a similar structure for both policy documents and adding a section on surrogacy to the Adoption Leave Policy.
Surrogacy is defined as when another woman carries and gives birth to a baby for the intended parents. The woman who gives birth to the child will be treated as the mother, however, parental responsibility can be transferred by either an adoption or parental order. Adoption Leave and Pay is available to eligible employees who become the legal parents following an application for adoption or parental order.
Employers should note that the Simply-Docs Adoption Leave Policy does not apply to overseas adoptions. A separate policy covering overseas adoption will follow shortly.
Statutory Maternity and Adoption Rights
In general terms, statutory maternity and adoption rights apply to the periods of absence granted to parents both before and after the birth or adoption of their child. Essentially, these periods of Leave (along with Paternity, Parental and Shared Parental Leave) exist in order to provide parents with the time needed to maintain their family responsibilities while still retaining their right to return to work. Adoption Leave (and Paternity Leave) are now also statutory rights for fathers, adoptive parents and same-sex partners. Rights in respect of statutory Adoption Leave and Pay are broadly in line with statutory Maternity Leave and Pay.
Shared Parental Leave – Working Grandparent Extension
Both of these policies also reference employees’ entitlement to Shared Parental Leave (SPL). Looking ahead, SPL is expected to be extended to working grandparents in 2018, allowing mothers to share their Maternity Leave with one nominated grandparent. It is hoped that the changes will also cover the streamlining of SPL, including simplifying the eligibility requirements and notification system.
This will represent a big change to employee rights as grandparents currently only have the right to request flexible working, which is available to any employee with 26 weeks’ service, and employers can decline such requests for a number of specified reasons. Extending eligibility for SPL will, therefore, give grandparents enhanced rights to combine working with caring for their grandchildren.
The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute
legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific