When the previous administration first announced plans its radical plans to address the inequality that existed between maternity and paternity laws, the feedback from the SME and company formation sector was mixed.
There is much research to suggest that the ‘gender pay-gap’ between women and men almost doubles when women hit their thirties, primarily as a consequence of women taking extended absences from their career to have a child.
Therefore when the new laws were first announced some business owners felt that it signified the first positive step the government had made in recognising that gender stereotypes no longer have a place in the contemporary workforce. However, many small business owners felt that making the provision to allow father’s to take up to six months paternity leave would put an unnecessary pressure on companies which are already struggling.
Beyond the controversy over whether Father’s deserve the same amount of leave as mothers, the Forum of Small Business has come out to say that this area of employment law is far to ambiguous and complex to administer.
In its new report the FSB, has encouraged the government to allow for some degree of flexibility on family leave and provide more support to small businesses who are struggling to understand the legal complexities of this legislation.