UK: BRAIN FOOD - Matters for the mind to chew on - Workplace rights - Fitting in the family.

UK: BRAIN FOOD - Matters for the mind to chew on - Workplace rights - Fitting in the family. - If your children start grizzling when you walk through the front door because they think you're the bogeyman their nanny is always warning them about, then hel

by MICHAEL BURD at Lewis Silkin, solicitors. e-mail:info@lewissilkin.com.
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

If your children start grizzling when you walk through the front door because they think you're the bogeyman their nanny is always warning them about, then help is at hand. The UK is soon to be officially 'family-friendly'.

Under new laws, mums - and dads - can take up to three months' unpaid leave in order to 'care for' their children (natural or adopted). Predictions are that this will come into force later this year ...

Family-friendly maybe. User-friendly? Not so fast. The Employment Relations Bill, which introduces the new right, is about as easy to understand as the instructions for programming the video. Here are just three little conundrums for you to chew over:

1 Does taking the kids on holiday count? What about if they stay at school while you laze about the house?

2 What if all staff want to start full-time parenting at the same time? Will they have to stagger their leave?

3 Can parents take the three months in little chunks or must it be taken all at once?

Parents will also be able to take time off from work for 'urgent family reasons' or to attend to a domestic emergency. If someone dies or is ill, that's clear cut - but what if the cat is run over, or the washing machine breaks down?

The Government has promised clarifying regulations. Until then, mum's the word ...

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