Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
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Mums and dads will share parental leave

Radical reforms will allow both parents to share up to a year’s leave to look after their new-born children, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced yesterday. The changes will allow fathers to play a greater role in raising their child, help mothers to return to work at a time that’s right for them, and create more flexible workplaces to boost the economy.

Under the new system of flexible parental leave, parents will be able to choose how they share care of their child in the first year after birth. Employed mothers will still be entitled to 52 weeks of maternity leave. However, working parents will be able to opt to share the leave.

Mothers will have to take at least the initial two weeks of leave after birth as a recovery period, but following that they can choose to end the maternity leave and the parents can opt to share the remaining leave as flexible parental leave. It will be up to both parents to decide how they share the remaining weeks of the leave.

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