Policy News Journal - 2014-15

Using a key-operated lifting mechanism and steel ceiling cables, staff have no option but to finish for the day. When they return in the morning, everything is left as it was the previous night. Once the desks have been lifted away, the office space is then available for employees to use for other, non-work related activities. Sander Veenendaal, creative director for Heldergroen Creative, told Fast Company: "We are able to pull the tables up into the ceiling and make the whole room into a dance floor, yoga studio, trend session, networking reception, or anything else you can think of - the floor is literally yours."

Employees and employers unhappy with Children and Families Act 2014 changes

29 September 2014

Two new changes to the Children and Families Act 2014 do not go far enough, according to one leading employment law firm.

The two changes, introduced by the UK government this year, aim to make working around an expected newborn and a newborn more flexible for parents. However, research by employment law firm Protecting.co.uk found that actually the acts are extremely unpopular with both employees and employers. The first change under The Children and Families Act 2014 is the partner attendance at antenatal appointments. From 1 October 2014, the legal right to have time off for ante-natal appointments is extended to fathers and partners of pregnant women. Leading employment law firm, Protecting.co.uk conducted research and found that 45% of partners will not be taking the time off and believe that it is not enough from the government. The prospective parents interviewed explained that money was already tight and taking two days unpaid would seriously damage a family’s finances. With the average cost for a day off work being £65, losing £130 in total for two days absence is a huge amount for parents expecting a newborn. 35% of the women interviewed (1810 surveyed) explained that they would rather have the extra cash to spend on baby clothes and all of the other items needed for a newborn and would rather sacrifice an absent partner then two days of unpaid work.  Time off is unpaid, is for a maximum of two appointments, with a maximum time for each appointment of 6.5 hours  The time off is available to people who have a relationship with the pregnant woman or the unborn child – the baby’s father, the mother’s spouse or civil partner or partner of either sex in an enduring relationship.  It is also available to intended parents of a child in a surrogacy arrangement if they expect to be entitled to and intend to apply for a parental order in respect of that child. Flora Smith, client manager at Protecting.co.uk, said of the changes “Parents are understandably unhappy with the change to the act. The government is not doing enough to support prospective parents on a tight salary. On the surface it appears to be a positive change but as it is unpaid time off it just affects the majority of people on a tight income who simply cannot afford to lose two days worth of wages when a baby in on the way.” The change in summary affects babies due after April 5th 2015 so it will be applicable from October 1st 2014.

The second change is to the Extension of Right to Request Flexible Working. The right to request flexible working was extended to all employees from 30 June 2014 - not just those

CIPP Policy News Journal

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