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Clarity needed on paternity leave says Hays

Hays, the leading recruiting expert, says businesses need better advice on how to implement the changes to paternity leave that become law this week.

This Sunday new laws surrounding paternity leave come into effect, representing a significant change in legislation. Leave for new fathers has now been extended to a potential 26 weeks and by 2015 new fathers could be able to take up to ten months of paid paternity leave. Parents would also be able to share statutory leave of up to 46 weeks.

Commenting on the upcoming changes Charles Logan, Director at Hays says “While the government’s efforts to encourage working mothers into the workplace and to re-address the balance between women and men are to be applauded, the decision to introduce these far reaching changes in the current climate is to be questioned.

“The country’s economic growth continues to be shaky. UK GDP fell by 0.5 % in the fourth quarter of 2010, introducing these regulations will create an extra level of bureaucracy and red tape in the midst of an uncertain recovery. New plans to extend leave could jeopardise the growth of SMEs who will find it difficult to plot future growth and expansion if they feel they cannot rely on staff. Staffing levels within smaller companies mean they are highly reliant on each employee with little capacity to hire additional support.

“Continuing confusion, about the exact nature of these reforms and exactly what they will mean for UK employers means the government must do more to provide clarity for companies on how to implement these changes as they struggle to recover.”

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About Hays

Hays plc is the leading global specialist recruitment group. It is market leader in the UK and Australia, and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. As at 31 December 2010, the Group employed 7,086 staff operating from 257 offices in 30 countries across 17 specialisms.

For the year ended 30 June 2010:
– the Group reported net fees of £557.7 million and operating profit before exceptional items of £80.5 million;the Group placed around 50,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 180,000 people into temporary assignments;
– 26% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific, 30% in Continental Europe & RoW and 44% in the United Kingdom & Ireland;
– the temporary placement business represented 58% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 42% of net fees; and
– Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, USA and the United Kingdom.

For further press information please contact:
Claire Lynch or Emma Price
T. 020 7259 8821
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