‘Granny Leave’: Everything You Need To Know

'Granny Leave': Everything You Need To Know


by Lauren Smith |
Published on

As the government announces that working grandparents will be allowed to take time off and share parental leave pay to help care for their grandchildren, here's everything you need to know about what 'Granny' or 'Grandpa' leave could mean for you.

Who announced the changes?

George Osborne at the Conservative conference in Manchester, although Harriet Harman also proposed similar plans in her manifesto for women earlier this year.

How will the current system change?

The current leave system will be extended - which already allows parents to share leave and statutory parental pay for a total of 52 weeks off. Now working grandparents will be allowed to take part in the scheme to help care for their grandchildren. Families will also be allowed to split statutory shared parental pay which is £139.58 a week, or 90% of the average weekly earnings (whichever is lower).

Who will it benefit?

According to the Conservative party, single mothers who want to return to work and cannot share leave with their partners. It allows mothers or fathers to return to work more quickly, should they choose to. Osborne added that more than half of mothers rely on grandparents for childcare when they first return to work - meaning some grandparents have to give up a job, reduce hours or take time off. It will keep "thousands more in the workplace", according to Osborne.

Who will qualify?

Grandparents already in full-time jobs - they will recieve £140 a week. Grandparents who choose to take up the scheme will have a legal right to return to their jobs after a year.

Will it definitely go ahead?

It's a proposed reform for now. This comes after a change in April this year, when all new parents were able to divide up between them a total of 50 weeks of shared parental leave, as long as they take it by the child’s first birthday

Any criticism?

The Chancellor said the scheme showed the Tory party was determined to "back working families" and "gives them the freedom to choose what will work best for them." Treasury officials say the ‘granny leave’ scheme – funded largely by the taxpayer will not require further funding and is good value. But some have said it's a move to win back support of working families amidst the tax credit cuts which could see some families stripped of £1,350 a year.

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