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Chapter

Cover Employment Law Concentrate

6. Parental rights  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter discusses the law on parental rights. Topics covered include maternity leave, parental leave, time off for dependants, the right to request flexible working, and the new right of parents to bereavement leave. The right to shared parental leave (SPL) is singled out for detailed treatment, partly because it is fairly new, and partly because, some would say, it exemplifies an old-fashioned approach to sex equality when caring for newborns. The option as to whether her partner can share in SPL is for the mother to decide; the mother may receive (by contract) enhanced maternity pay, but there is no enhanced SPL. The effect is to reinforce the mother’s staying at home because if she goes back to work, the family will lose most of the partner’s income because the rate of pay for SPL is low, around £151 a week. The latter point is arguably sex discrimination, and, during the currency of this book, the Employment Appeal Tribunal will decide this issue (at the time of writing employment tribunals are split).

Chapter

Cover Employment Law in Context

9. Work–Life Balance  

This chapter analyses the statutory employment ‘family-friendly’ rights contained in the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the subordinate legislation which has a bearing on the work–life balance of employees, workers, and other individuals providing personal services. These include the protection of pregnant workers, and the statutory arrangements for maternity leave and maternity pay. It also examines family-friendly measures which seek to achieve a more equal division of family responsibilities between couples, such as the statutory rights to shared parental leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, and parental leave, as well as the rights to request flexible working and to take time off work to deal with dependants.

Chapter

Cover Smith & Wood's Employment Law

5. The work–life balance legislation  

This chapter addresses a number of legislative regimes creating rights that affect the balance between work and life outside of work. Specifically, the discussion focuses on the controls over working hours and rest breaks and the right to paid annual leave in the Working Time Regulations; the law on maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental and other parental leave; and the right to request flexible working arrangements. Although not all of these rights can claim work–life balance as their original policy driver, they have come to be seen as representing a loosely coherent programme for ensuring that the process of earning a living does not preclude any worker from enjoying other aspects of life, especially family life. The chapter considers, singly, each of these work–life rights, and the policies and legislation behind them and assesses whether the law delivers effective and useful rights. Gender inequality forms a central theme of the chapter, noting that many work–life balance problems flow from unequal gender norms in the home.

Chapter

Cover Smith & Wood's Employment Law

5. The work–life balance legislation  

Ian Smith, Owen Warnock, and Gemma Mitchell

This chapter addresses a number of legislative regimes creating rights that affect the balance between work and life outside of work. Specifically, the discussion focuses on the controls over working hours and rest breaks and the right to paid annual leave in the Working Time Regulations; the law on maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental, and other parental leave; and the right to request flexible working arrangements. Although not all of these rights can claim work–life balance as their original policy driver, they have come to be seen as representing a loosely coherent programme for ensuring that the process of earning a living does not preclude any worker from enjoying other aspects of life, especially family life. The chapter considers, singly, each of these work–life rights and the policies and legislation behind them, and assesses whether the law delivers effective and useful rights. Gender inequality forms a central theme of the chapter, noting that many work–life balance problems flow from unequal gender norms in the home.

Chapter

Cover Selwyn's Law of Employment

6. Family Friendly Rights  

This chapter considers various family-friendly rights designed to assist employees with parental and childcare responsibilities. These are rights such as maternity leave, including ordinary and additional maternity leave, shared parental leave, ordinary and additional adoption leave, keeping in touch days, parental leave, paternity leave, caring for dependants, and applications for flexible working. The chapter also considers which of these types of leave are paid, and if so, how much. A number of these statutory rights and relevant statutory provisions are based on the implementation of a number of EU Directives, and to that extent EU jurisprudence must be considered where appropriate.

Chapter

Cover Employment Law

20. Family-friendly statutes  

This chapter looks at ‘family-friendly employment laws’ and breaks each down into its component parts. It also considers whether it is appropriate that the statute book should reflect a commitment to a ‘work-life balance’, or whether this kind of legislation in fact ignores the needs of business and therefore has a deleterious effect on the economy. It begins with a background on ‘family-friendly’ legislation. It then discusses ante-natal care, health and safety issues, maternity leave, maternity pay, paternity leave, shared parental leave, adoption leave, parental leave, time off for dependants, the right to request flexible working, the right to request time off for training and the impact of family-friendly legislation.