Back in October 2015, the Government announced that it was paving the way for the extension of shared parental leave to grandparents by 2018. However, little has been heard about this proposal since.
The Extension of Shared Parental Leave To Grandparents: Original Announcement
When the Government originally announced that shared parental leave was to be extended to grandparents back in October 2015, George Osborne stated: “more than half of mothers rely on grandparents for childcare when they first return to work after having a baby. In many families, grandparents play a central role in caring for their grandchildren and helping to keep down the costs of childcare. Increasing numbers of grandparents, however, also want to remain in work themselves. Research shows two million grandparents have either given up a job, reduced their hours or taken time off work to look after their grandchildren. It’s an opportunity for employers who want to retain older members of their workforce, who might otherwise choose to leave the workforce permanently.“
So Why The Delay And Will It Happen?
Since the announcement in October 2015, a lot has happened. The country has voted for Brexit, and that is now the main focus of attention for the Government, which has now lost its majority in the House of Commons. The personnel in the Government has also changed considerably. George Osborne, for example, the person behind the proposal and the then Chancellor, is no longer a member of the Government or an MP, and nor is the then Prime Minister, David Cameron.
Consultation had been planned to be begin in May 2016, but that never materialised. With no progress having taken place since then, it is almost certain that the proposal will not be enacted this year, as had been planned. Moreover, with no fresh announcements, it is impossible to tell when, if ever, the measure will be adopted.