The States have agreed changes to the legislation in respect of maternity and other parental rights. Whilst there is not a date of enactment for these changes (as a change to Social Security legislation needs to also be agreed) it is envisaged that these changes may be effective from June/July 2020:
(Date for implementation yet to be advised – suggested timeframe of June/July 2020
Ante Natal Appointments: Unlimited appointments with up to 10 hours paid for attendance by the father/surrogate parents/partner, the rest are unpaid. NB: For the mother all appointments for ante natal attendance are paid.
Adoption Appointments: Unlimited appointments with up to 10 hours paid for attendance, the rest are unpaid.
Parental Leave: 52 weeks for all parents (including adoptive and intended surrogate parents) regardless of how long they have been employed, of which 6 weeks are paid in full by the employer. The 52 weeks can be taken in 3 blocks of time over a 2 year period.
Paid Suspension on H&S Grounds: Following a risk assessment if an Employer is unable to allocate a pregnant/breastfeeding employee other duties she will have the right to paid absence.
Breastfeeding/Expressing Breaks and facilities: Employees can request temporary changes to their working conditions for the purpose of breast-feeding/expressing breaks. Employers will also need to take ‘reasonable-steps’ to provide appropriate facilities in the workplace.
Existing rights that will continue to apply
Right to Return to Work: All employees have the right to return to the same job after any period of parental leave.
Complaints: Protection against detriment and dismissal for reasons relating to these rights
Discrimination: Protection against discrimination on grounds of sex, pregnancy/maternity
Flexible Working: All employees are entitled to make one request for flexible working in a 12 month period, regardless of length of service or the purpose/reason for the request.
The States have agreed to review these changes after 24 months.
JACS 24 October 2019