Moves to make parental leave more flexible

The UK government has launched a consultation on plans to introduce a new system of flexible parental leave, saying the current regulations are too rigid. Under the proposals, once the early weeks of maternity and paternity leave have ended, parents will be able to share the overall leave allowance between them.

Unlike the current system, this leave could be taken in a number of different blocks and both parents could take leave at the same time if the changes are introduced, to take effect from 2015.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "Our proposals will encourage greater choice by giving employees and their employers the flexibility to find arrangements to suit them both. New parents should be able to choose their childcare arrangements."