Recent changes to regulations mean that parental leave laws now allow prospective fathers the right to take more time off to attend antenatal classes. Next year, it will go one step further and allow male employees the right to share parental leave with their partner. What does this mean for employees and employers?
As of October 2014, male employees are allowed to take time off for antenatal appointments so that they can accompany their expectant partner. However, whereas female employees will be paid during antenatal appointments, male employees will not.
Previously, female employees could take a maximum of 52 weeks, with the first 26 being ordinary maternity leave and the remainder known as additional maternity leave.
Male expectant parents can currently take two weeks of ordinary paternity leave and then a further 26 weeks of additional paternity leave.
Changes in April 2015, will mean that both parents can share up to 50 weeks of maternity leave. This is designed to allow parents more control over how they share the care of their child in the earliest stages of their life.
If you would like to read more about parental leave and other issues surrounding maternity leave, you can read our extensive guide here.