- Date: Monday 20th February 2017
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Latest research shows that more than half of working parents rely on grandparents for childcare when the mother first returns to work. Furthermore seven million UK grandparents are routinely involved with childcare. Yet compared to their European counterparts, British grandparents are twice as likely to be in paid employment. The evidence indicates that families increasingly need grandparents to participate in childcare however their availability to support is restricted by their need to work.
Last year the Government confirmed that it was in consultation over the possibility of extending Shared Parental Leave (SPL) to Grandparents meaning the concept of Grandparent Leave had come a step closer.
Currently, grandparents can request the right for Flexible Working where they have 26 weeks of service or longer but they have no right under UK employment law to paid or unpaid leave to spend time with their grandchildren in their capacity as grandparents.
So with the potential change to legislation what do employers need to consider?
If the SPL scheme is extended, it is likely that mothers will be able to share leave with grandparents in the same way they can currently share it with fathers/partners. Employers need to consider the potential impact to their business capability of these key carers potentially taking up to 50 weeks out of work. Things to consider:
- The number of grandparents in your organisation
- Determine the potential impact to your organisation
- Review succession planning
- Plan for an extended absence of key (grandparent) workers
- Plan for re-integration of key (grandparent) workers after the absence
Source: SSG - Manuela Grossmann