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Grandparents to share parental leave

As more and more young families rely on their parents to help with childcare, an additional plan has been unveiled for shared parental leave


Chancellor George Osborne has acknowledged that many grandparents are now playing a central role in caring for younger generations.

He has announced a plan for shared parental leave and pay to be extended to one nominated working grandparent.

It is hoped the move would help them to carry on providing help for their grandchildren while also giving them the option to stay in work.

Mr Osborne said: “In many families, grandparents play a central role in caring for their grandchildren and helping to keep down the costs of childcare.

“Increasing numbers of grandparents, however, also want to remain in work themselves.

“Research shows two million grandparents have either given up a job, reduced their hours or taken time off work to look after their grandchildren.”

Mums and dads will be able to share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of parental leave pay, currently £139.58 a week or 90per cent of average weekly earnings, whichever is lower, with a nominated working grandparent.

Mr Osborne also said that he hopes it will allow working parents to return to work more quickly.

He added: “Allowing them instead to share leave with their children will keep thousands more in the workplace, which is good for our economy.”

Shared parental leave came into force in April this year.

But a recent survey by Opinion Matters of more than 1,000 parents found that fathers are choosing not to take paternity leave, believing there is a social stigma against dads who choose to work part-time.

It found 40 per cent of men opt out of their right to take time off for childcare, and stay in the workplace instead.

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