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Work and Families Act 2006, [E/S/W]

The Work and Families Act aims to create a modern framework of employment rights and responsibilities for employers and employees. The Bill was introduced to the House of Commons on 19 October 2005.

Main provisions of the Bill (as introduced)

Extension of statutory maternity pay (clause 1)

Extending Statutory Maternity Pay and Maternity Allowance to nine months (39 weeks) from April 2007. This measure also extends the maximum period that may be prescribed to 52 weeks. (It is the government’s the ambition of moving to a year by the end of the Parliament)

Adoption pay period (clause 2)

Extending Statutory Adoption Pay to nine months (39 weeks) from April 2007. This measure also extends the maximum period that may be prescribed to 52 weeks. (It is the government’s the ambition of moving to a year by the end of the Parliament)

Additional paternity leave: birth (clause 3)

Introduces a right for fathers to take leave to care for a child and a new entitlement to receive pay while they are on leave, if certain conditions are met. An employee is eligible for paternity leave if he has or expects to have responsibility for the baby's upbringing and is either the father of the baby or (if he is not the father) the mother's husband or partner.

Entitlement to additional statutory paternity pay: birth (clause 6)

A power to introduce new paternity leave for fathers, enabling them to benefit from leave and statutory pay if the mother returns to work after six months but before the end of her maternity leave period.


Flexible working (clause 12)

Widens the scope of the existing law on flexible working to enable more people with caring responsibilities to request to work flexibly. People can request flexible working for the purpose of caring for a person who falls within a description prescribed in regulations. The person making the application must also have some relationship with the person receiving the care and the details of this will be dealt with in regulations.

Background

The Department of Trade and Industry consulted over the summer on the Work and Families Bill. The Government response to that consultation has been published.

Timeline


19/10/05
– Bill introduced to Parliament

2006 - Act receives Royal Assent

Further information

Work and Families Bill
Work and Families Bill Explanatory notes
Response to consultation on Bill
Work and Families Act 2006