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New maternity, paternity and adoption leave entitlements arrived last year - but are councils getting them right an...
New maternity, paternity and adoption leave entitlements arrived last year - but are councils getting them right and how important are they to an overall improvement strategy?

Fathers and adopters have legal right to paid leave for the first time, and the legislation also aims to simplify that notoriously complex area - maternity leave and pay. The EO's new guidance, 'Family rights at work' will assist those responsible for managing and advising on these often complex areas of people management and HR practice.

Rob Pinkham, EO executive director said: 'The current driver for local authorities is improving performance and consequently service delivery. The impact that individual policies and practices such as maternity leave can have on this area should not be underestimated. 71% of the local government workforce are female, a significant proportion of this group will be of childbearing age. An authority's policy in this area impacts heavily on recruitment and retention, as a woman's experiences during her pregnancy, maternity leave and on her return will affect her motivation to both deliver the service and remain within local government.'

To ease implementation, the legislative framework is linked to the provisions of the national conditions of service. In addition to rights to family leave the guidance covers other aspects of HR and employment law which could affect a worker on maternity leave, such as the end of a fixed-term contract, redundancy or health and safety risk assessments.

Example letters and policies contained within the guidance can be used immediately or adapted to suit the circumstances of each local authority. 'Family rights at work' is priced£45 to local authorities and can be ordered from Samantha Burberry, on 020 7296 6570 or email:

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