FSB wants clearer SME maternity leave rules

The Federation of Small Businesses stated that maternity leave regulations are in need of a ‘radical overhaul’ after publishing a report that calls for massive reform.

The FSB stated that legislation around maternity leave needs to be simplified so that SMEs are properly informed if they need to hold a job for an employee or not, as maternity rights as they stand do not force an employee to clearly state their intentions.

Instead, the FSB is calling for an overhaul that will make pregnancy leave much more flexible and simple for both parents and employers.

Research from the FSB discovered that half of all small businesses found that maternity leave is too hard to administer properly, and many business owners often question if their employees will actually return back to work.

In their vision, a maternity leave system should be created that would offer parents an upfront large sum in return for an agreed upon length of absence so that the employer in return has a clear idea of when they can expect the worker back on the job.

At the moment maternity leave is 52 weeks with women entitled to 90% of their salary for six weeks and an additional 33 weeks at the set rate of £124.88 per week.

Fathers on the other hand are allowed two weeks of pay at the £124.88 rate which must be taken consecutively and within the first 56 days after a birth although new April reforms may allow fathers to take another six months of leave.