Panel calls for amendments on extensions to family friendly rights

11th October 2019

The Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel has today published its second report on proposals to extend family friendly employment rights.

The Panel welcomes the Minister's revised proposals, and her acknowledgment of the areas of concern raised during its original review earlier this year. The Minister has also incorporated most of the Panel's previous amendments to the draft Law which it had lodged before the original proposals were due to be debated.

As a result of its follow-up work, however, the Panel believes that further legislative changes are required to ensure that the proposals will limit any unintended consequences for families, employers and employees.

The Panel's latest amendment proposes:

  • To increase the notice period from 28 days to 42 days.
  • To amend the parental leave entitlement from 52 weeks to 26 weeks with all other parts of the draft Law remaining the same.
  • To insert a new sub-paragraph to ensure due notice is taken of other employees within an organisation when an employer is taking all reasonable steps to accommodate an employee's intended second and third parental leave periods.

Deputy Kirsten Morel, Chair of the Economic and International Affairs Panel said: "In completing our follow-up review, we have lodged an amendment with further changes which we hope will bring greater balance between the need to develop a parental leave culture and the cost to employers. Perhaps the biggest change we are proposing is to maintain the status quo of 26 weeks' leave for parents. If our amendment is accepted, it will not affect any of the other rights given to new parents, it simply maintains the current leave period until further analysis is undertaken by the Minister."

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