Nick Clegg paternity leave plan a ‘nightmare’

Business digest: Proposal to allow fathers up to 10 months off may hit recruitment, say businesses

LAST UPDATED AT 12:16 ON Mon 17 Jan 2011

Fathers may soon be able to take as much as 10 months of paid paternity leave, under controversial new proposals by Nick Clegg.

The deputy prime minister wants to overhaul what he calls an "Edwardian" system so that parents can divide the vast majority of the 12 months maternity leave between them. The plan already has the backing of prime minister David Cameron.

Business leaders have reacted angrily, with Andrew Cave calling the plans "a complete nightmare". Cave, Head of Policy for the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "This is the wrong measure at the wrong time."

"The Government says it wants businesses to take on more staff but this sort of thing just throws up more obstacles. Businesses will have to co-ordinate with other employers to work out whether parents have used up their allowance – it is a complete minefield."

Adam Marshall, of the British Chambers of Commerce, said the proposals could prevent employers from taking on staff.

"This may be politically popular but it is going to cause great difficulties for many small and medium sized businesses," he said. "You have to question how this squares with all the business-friendly rhetoric coming out of the Government."

Read the full report at the Daily Mail. · 

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