Grandparents will be able to take paid shared parental leave to look after grandchildren, George Osborne announces

Lynsey Barber
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Child care will be shared between parents and grandparents

New parents will be able to share their paternity leave with grandparents under new plans to be announced by the chancellor.

Grandparents who are in work will be able to take on childcare for newborns so that parents can return to work, but will pick up paternity leave benefits for doing so.

Up to 52 weeks of leave can currently be shared between mothers and fathers, 39 weeks of which are paid at either £140 per week or 90 per cent of weekly earnings. Under George Osborne's new plan, that would be extended to include grandparents.

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

The policy has previously been pushed for by the Lib Dems in coalition and by the Labour Party manifesto during the General Election. A survey over the summer suggested two-thirds of workers backed shared parental leave with grandparents.

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