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New maternity reforms could be a "disaster" for pubs

By Adam Pescod , 21-Nov-2012
Last updated on 21-Nov-2012 at 09:28 GMT2012-11-21T09:28:30Z

Maternity leave: Reforms will allow working parents to share time off

Maternity leave: Reforms will allow working parents to share time off

New maternity leave reforms announced by the Government last week “could be a recipe for disaster” for licensees.

That is the view of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers’ (ALMR) strategic affairs director Kate Nicholls, who has voiced concerns about the measures, which will allow parents to share maternity leave.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the reforms would create a “more flexible and motivated workforce” for employers, but Nicholls is worried that they could result in unnecessary cost burdens for pubs.

As part of the new measures, employed mothers will still be entitled to 52 weeks of maternity leave, but working parents will be able to choose to share the leave.

Nicholls said: “The Government must make sure that, in trying to provide a good work-life balance for employees, it doesn’t impose significant additional cost burdens on employers — that will simply put a brake on jobs and growth in a sector that is already a model of flexible working in practice.

“We are particularly concerned to ensure the plans for shared parental leave do not mire employers in red tape, costly uncertainty and impractical notice arrangements. In an industry where you still get management couples, this could be a recipe for disaster.”