Over Half of Small Businesses Support Shared Parental Leave

Despite the majority of small and medium-sized enterprises believing recent changes to maternity leave to be positive for business, 27% say it could be detrimental

Over Half of Small Businesses Support Shared Parental Leave

Over half (53%) of small and medium-sized business owners consider shared parental leave to be a good thing for their business, according to the latest Close Brothers Business Barometer (CBBB).

Of the small firms that support shared maternity leave, 46% believe that it will promote staff loyalty and 31% affirm that the added flexibility is essential to allowing staff to have a work/life balance.

However concerns remain among some small business owners, with 27% admitting that they think shared maternity leave will have a negative effect on their business and cause issues – 49% worry it will damage their continuity plans.

Furthermore, nearly a fifth (17%) of the 700 small businesses surveyed said they were unaware of their employees’ rights in regards to shared paternal leave.

Since April 2015, parents are entitled to divide a total of 50 weeks leave – previously mothers were allowed to take up to a year of maternity leave but partners were permitted to take a maximum of two weeks paternity leave.

David Thomson, CEO of Close Brothers Invoice Finance (who conduct the CBB), commented:

“When new laws come into effect it’s inevitable that a period of nervousness may follow as any potential impact of the changes come to light. However, shared parental leave is designed to provide more flexibility for parents and more choice, which is good thing for staff engagement and the workforce as a whole.

“Maternity leave and employee law in general can be a confusing area. Our advice to business owners would be to take time to educate themselves and their staff and seek advice from the HR experts.”

For more information on shared paternal leave, check out our sister site’s guide here .

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