The Chancellor George Osborne recently announced that paid parental leave is to be extended to working grandparents, who will be able to look after newborns so that their parents can return to work, making grandparents eligible for paternity leave benefits. The government hope to introduce legislation to implement this is 2018.
The plan would extend the current system of Shared Parental Leave, where both parents can share up to 52 weeks of leave. Families will also be allowed to share Statutory Shared Parental Pay which is currently £139.50 a week, or 90 per cent of average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.
Research shows two million grandparents have given up a job, reduced their hours or taken time off work to look after their grandchildren. More than half of mothers rely on grandparents for childcare when they first return to work after having a baby.
Peter Lawrence from the Human Capital Department cautiously welcomed the change: “Grandparents will be a kind of “dad’s army” looking after the home front, and this should allow working parents to continue their day jobs, helping ensure business continuity”.
– Peter Lawrence