Businesses Could Be Forced To Offer ‘Granny Leave’
After maternity leave and paternity leave, employers may have to give their staff yet another kind of leave, one which has been dubbed ‘granny leave.’
Labour’s deputy leader Harriet Harman has told The Daily Mail in a recent interview that her party plans to introduce a new legal right for grandparents to take time off work to care for their grandchildren.
The policy was revealed in Labour’s special ‘Women’s Manifesto’ and with it grandparents would be entitled to four weeks of unpaid leave.
Harman argued that businesses would welcome the measure since it would encourage grandparents to remain in the workforce, but business leaders are expected to argue otherwise. Although business leaders have yet to respond to the proposals, it is expected they will argue that employers simply cannot accommodate such lengthy spells of time off.
Research has shown that 1.9million grandparents have given up a job or reduced their hours to look after grandkids, while more than half of mothers have been shown to rely on their own parents for support in looking after them.
The Chief Executive of the charity Grandparents Plus, Sam Smethers, said of the proposals: “Grandparents are the hidden army of carers in Britain today. We know that one in five working parents – two million of them - would give up work without grandparents to rely on. But increasingly grandparents are working too so this policy is also a win for employers as it helps both parents and grandparents stay in work.”
At the moment parents are permitted to claim 18 weeks of unpaid parental leave (up to four weeks in a given year) per child until their fifth birthday, although that is due to be raised to their eighteenth birthday.
Photo credit goes to rdeetz