Changes in paternity leave laws allow mother to transfer some of her paid maternity leave

Changes in paternity laws this April will allow a mother to transfer three months of her paid maternity leave to the father. Here we ask female entrepreneurs how the new legislation will affect their businesses.

Wendy Tan White, founder of DIY website company Moonfruit

Most SMEs worry about maternity leave in some form. But it’s all about forward planning. Everyone should be made replaceable and men and women should have the same rights.

Although employers are meant to provide equal opportunities, I think the issue of taking maternity leave often crosses their minds when they are interviewing and can influence their decisions. So I think this change in legislation will lead to more people being employed on the basis of their skills.

It should encourage female entrepreneurship. We’re already seeing the rise in the ‘mumpreneur’ and this will help give women further options in running their businesses.

Louise Munro, owner of Lifestyle Accounting and member of the Association of Accounting Technicians

I think it’s good that they are trying to make things more equal. But from a small business perspective, it is really hard when someone takes maternity leave. Personally, I’m dreading the day when my staff take it, as it will be disruptive to the business. It’s possible that this may make things worse for some employers.

However, if I did get pregnant again, I imagine I would transfer some of my maternity leave to my husband (who also works for my company), because I am more qualified than him. So in some respects, this is a really good change.

Clare Bampton, founder of Bampton Communications

When I became pregnant my business was still very much in the fledgling stage. So being able to get back to work with my husband taking some of the childcare responsibilities would have been very beneficial. It wouldn’t have affected our joint income, as we were both on comparable wages.

I know some will worry about increased red tape, but I believe we should look at the wider economic picture. Obviously I agree that stability is key, but when you look at the projected take-up of people who this will affect, it’s not going to undermine the economy.

It’s important to let women entrepreneurs contribute too. We’ve got as much to offer as our male counterparts.

Also see: Can I work on my business while claiming maternity benefit?

Related Topics

Paternity leave

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