Good Work proposals aim to boost Shared Parental Leave

The government's 12-point 'Good Work' plan announced today pledges to raise awareness and take-up of working parents' rights.

Man building a tower with wooden bricks
Alongside proposals for new rights for workers on flexible and zero-hours contracts, the government is committing to improving the working lives of parents by funding new awareness campaigns to increase understanding of workers’ rights and a new taskforce to promote the right to request flexible work.The move comes as new research from charity Working Families and reported by Relocate Global last month found parents subject to a parenthood penalty of over work and underpayment, which impacts on the quality of family life.

Taskforces to raise awareness of employment rights

With scope for improved take-up of existing rights, the government’s new Good Work plan is seeking to increase transparency in the business environment for workers by:
  • launching a task force with business to promote awareness and take-up of the right to request flexible working introduced in 2014
  • making sure new and expectant mothers know their workplace rights and raise awareness among employers of their obligations
  • launching a new campaign to encourage more working parents to share childcare through shared parental leave – a right introduced in 2015
  • defining "working time" for flexible workers who find jobs through apps or online so they know when they should be being paid.
Heralding these and the other plans announced today to ensure workers’ rights are protected and paid fairly as making "real progress towards an economy that works for everyone," said Prime Minister, Theresa May.“We recognise the world of work is changing and we have to make sure we have the right structures in place to reflect those changes, enhancing the UK’s position as one of the best places in the world to do business. "We are proud to have record levels of employment in this country, but we must also ensure that workers’ rights are always upheld.”
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Highlighting employment rights for parents

Responding to the plans, Sarah Jackson, chief executive of Working Families, welcomed the commitment the government has made to increasing quality work, adding the new rights should include clear details for parents of their rights from day one.“Written statements of day-one rights should include information about parental rights so that the UK’s 11 million working mothers and fathers are never in the dark about what they are entitled to.“It is only rogue employers who have anything to fear from the proposals to ensure those found to have flouted the law at a tribunal pay the price.”

Focus will help 'close loopholes'

The proposals have also been broadly welcomed by employer and business representative bodies.Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, particularly highlighted the need for greater clarity on employers’ responsibility around ensuring good work for all.“The UK has a flexible labour market that broadly strikes the right balance between providing flexibility for employers and employment protections for individuals," he said."But we should always look to tackle abuses of employment rights, provide greater clarity on employers’ obligations and close loopholes wherever we can.”
Relocate Magazine Winter 2017 front cover
Read more about the future of the UK business in the Winter issue of our magazine
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