Extended parental leave bad for business

Over half (58 per cent) of SMEs believe that extending parental leave would have a negative commercial impact and parents agree, says a study.

Research commissioned by Citrix Online shows that there are still concerns over government plans to extend parental, leave and parents and employers would prefer to introduce flexible working options.

Parents also voiced worries over government plans to extend maternity leave from 39 to 52 weeks and give fathers the right to up to 26 weeks paternity leave with statutory pay, if the mother returns to work.

Almost half of all dads (46 per cent) and 44 per cent of mums believe that taking extended leave would negatively impact their career.

The majority of dads say that the ability to work from home would make the most positive difference to family life in the first year of their child’s birth, rather than taking extended paternity leave, with 87 per cent saying they would choose to ditch the daily commute over receiving a pension and an annual bonus.

‘It is very encouraging to note a consensus between UK businesses and parents around flexible working,’ comments Bernardo de Albergaria, vice president of Citrix Online. ‘Companies can minimise disruption to their business while allowing parents the flexibility to achieve a rewarding home life as well as momentum in their career.’

Currently, any employee can request flexible working arrangements but employees with young or disabled children (under six and 18 respectively), and carers of adults, have a specific right to request flexible working, and this must be taken seriously by employers.

Adam Wayland

Adam Wayland

Adam was Editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2006 to 2008 and prior to that was staff writer on sister publication BusinessXL Magazine.

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Parental leave