• The Coalition Government has confi rmed that the new regulations planned by the previous Government relating to additional paternity leave will go ahead. As a result, fathers of babies due and adoptions matched on or after 3 April 2011 will be allowed an additional period of paternity leave where the mother has returned to work early.  
  • The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has published an impact assessment which concludes that the Government’s plans to extend the right to request fl exible working to parents of children aged 17 will have minimum impact. Currently the right only applies to parents of children aged under 17 in April 2011. Other sources have suggested that this will affect over a quarter of a million employees. In addition, the Government has also confi rmed it will consult on its intention to extend the right to request fl exible working to all employees later this year.  
  • The European Parliament has agreed proposals to increase the minimum period of maternity leave across the EU to 20 weeks on full pay. While the UK regime currently provides for 52 weeks’ maternity leave, pay is capped at statutory maternity pay for 39 weeks. The proposals must be approved by the EU Council of Ministers. It seems that the UK Government is lobbying against them.