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New shared parental law for fathers and partners

Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry has welcomed the passage into law of the Work and Families Act (Northern Ireland) 2015.

The new law will mean that parents of children due to be born, or placed for adoption, on or after 5th April 2015 who meet qualifying conditions will be able to access shared parental leave and pay in their child’s first year.

The Minister said, “This important package of new rights will allow eligible working families to have more choice about how they balance their work and caring commitments. Parents can choose to be at home together or to work at different times and share the care of their child during the critical first year.

“The measures are a proactive response to changing expectations around work and family life. It is right that we do more to support the role of fathers and partners who want to contribute more to the care of their children.

“It is also important to challenge assumptions that only women will ever be absent from the workplace for caring reasons. Addressing these points will have long term benefits for all parents, irrespective of gender.”

These new rights will give families greater choice over how they arrange childcare during this very important time, by allowing working mothers the option to end their maternity pay and leave early, and to share untaken leave and pay with their partner.

Adopters will similarly be able to bring their adoption leave and pay to an early end to opt into shared parental leave and pay with their partner.

Further information on the new law for parents can be found at: and further information for employers can be found at:

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Posted by on Mar 4 2015. Filed under Community, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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