Changes that would enable mothers and fathers to share maternity leave more flexibly were announced in last year’s Modern Workplaces consultation, which suggested bringing in the new rules by April 2015. However, The Daily Telegraph has reported that the introduction of the joint allowance will be delayed until October 2015, following a Cabinet disagreement over the impact of the scheme on hard-pressed businesses. Under “flexible parental leave” plans which are due to be confirmed at the end of October 2012, mothers will still receive the assistance automatically unless they apply to transfer it to their partners, but will only be required to take the first fortnight of leave after giving birth, for health reasons, after which fathers can take the paid time off work.
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