Shared parental leave: Workers overwhelmingly back paid granny leave

 
Lauren Fedor
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Grandmother and child: Could we see parental leave being taken by grandparents (Source: Getty)
Two-thirds of workers would be willing to share their paid parental leave with their own mums and dads, according to a new poll.

Sixty-six per cent of parents polled by Survation earlier this year said that if they did not want to use all of their paid parental leave themselves, it should be possible for them to share the leave with a grandparent helping with childcare in a so-called “granny leave” scheme.

Mothers are currently entitled to 39 weeks of paid maternity leave after having a baby. Fathers or partners are eligible for one or two weeks’ paid paternity leave after the birth of their child, or more if they decide to opt-in to a new shared parental leave and pay scheme, which went into effect in April.

Survation polled just over 1,000 British adults, one half of whom had a young child in their family who was known to them but not their child. Eighty per cent of those respondents said they should be entitled to be assessed for financial support from their local authority, while almost three-quarters said they should be entitled to a period of time off work to care for the child in their family.

The Liberal Democrats pushed for shared parental leave in the coalition government, and also during the General Election campaign the Labour party manifesto included plans to extend the Lib Dem policy to include grandparents.

In a recent Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) this month, David Cameron was asked by acting Labour Party leader Harriet Harman if he would agree to look at progressing plans to help grandparents get flexibility at work, by allowing them to share parental leave.

The Prime Minister responded: “I am certainly happy to look at that because the right to request flexible working has been championed by this Government.” Last night the government reiterated that stance.

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