After a period of uncertainty the Government has confirmed that the Additional Paternity Leave Regulations 2010 will go ahead as planned by the Labour Government. This means they will take effect for babies due and adoptions matched on or after 3 April 2011. Broadly, they will allow the father to take an additional period of paternity leave where the mother has returned to work early.

The Government has also announced that, from April next year, the right to request flexible working will be extended to parents of children under 18 years old. It is estimated that this extension of one year (it currently applies to children under 17) will affect around 288,000 employees.

The Government describes these two measures as "interim" and proposes to consult on a more ambitious programme for flexible, family friendly working later this year. You can view the Government's announcement here.