27/11/2002

Government unveils legislation for working parents

The government has announced it is preparing legislation that will give new and improved rights to working parents of young children in Northern Ireland.

The Employment (Northern Ireland) Order 2002 includes a package of provisions aimed at helping parents of young children balance their parenting and employment responsibilities. The new rights will apply to parents who are expecting their children to be born on or after the week beginning April 6 2003.

The order contains provisions which had been included in the Employment Bill in progress through the Northern Ireland Assembly, but which lapsed when suspension of the Assembly occurred.

The new provisions include: six months paid and a further six months unpaid maternity leave for working mothers; two weeks paid paternity leave for working fathers; six months paid and a further six months unpaid leave for working adoptive parents; and the legal right to apply to work flexibly for parents with children under six years.

Around the UK, 3.8 million parents will be eligible to apply for new working arrangements – 2.1 million men and 1.5 million women with children aged under six; and 200,000 parents with disabled children up to the age of 18.

The proposals are the result of detailed studies by the independent Work and Parents Taskforce which was established to look at how best to implement the legislative right for parents of young children to request to work flexibly. The taskforce, headed by Professor Sir George Bain, published its recommendations in the report 'About Time: Flexible Working', in November 2001.

The changes will affect working parents expecting their children to be born from April 6 2003.

(GMcG)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

14 December 2021
Alliance Criticise Proposed Plans To Change Human Rights Protections
Alliance have criticised the UK government's proposed plans for significant changes to human rights protections. The Independent Human Rights Act (HRA) Review was established in December 2020 to examine the framework of the HRA, how it operates and whether any change is required.
26 November 2021
New Awards Scheme Announced For Use Of Irish Language In Businesses
A new awards scheme has been announced to promote the use and recognition of the Irish language in businesses by Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey. The GRADAIM Awards are earned by organisations that use Irish in their business or that provide services through the medium of Irish to their customers.
05 January 2022
New Cybersecurity Course Announced For NI's Farming Businesses
A new Key Skills Cybersecurity course for farming families in NI has been announced. Increasing use of the internet leads to increased opportunities and effort by criminals to access and steal your assets and farm businesses are not immune from fraud and cyber-attacks.
21 December 2021
New Energy Group Established
Economy Minister Gordon Lyons is encouraging people to apply for new posts that have been created in his Department's Energy Group. The Department for the Economy is seeking individuals with experience in the energy sector to take forward the important and exciting work on energy decarbonisation.
20 December 2021
New Research Projects Published On Transport Changes For Climate Action
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has announced the publication of four research projects exploring transport changes needed to help tackle the climate emergency.