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John M Taylor & Co | Accountants Paisley/Taxation/Vat Returns/Business Start Ups/Sage/Payroll/Bookkeeping

Statutory Maternity, Paternity
& Adoption Leave: Recent Changes

On 1 October 2006 the Maternity and Parental leave and the Paternity and Adoption Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2006 was approved by Parliament. These regulations aim to improve the balance of rights and responsibilities for both employers and employees.

These regulations come into effect for employees whose expected date of childbirth, or expected date of adoption, is on or after 1 April 2007. From that date the following changes take effect:

1. Employers will have to pay Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) or Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) for up to 39 weeks rather than the previous 26 weeks.

2. Employers will have to allow all pregnant women to take up to one year off work regardless of length of service as the length of service requirement for additional maternity leave has been scrapped.

3. Employers are entitled to 8 weeks notice form mothers and adopters who wish to return to work earlier or later than originally intended.

4. Employers will be able to offer employees ‘keeping in touch’ days. These days will allow employees on maternity or adoption leave to agree to work for up to 10 days during the period of leave without the leave period being brought to an end. There is no obligation on either the employer or employee to offer or accept these days.

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