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Scrutiny critical of family-friendly legislation

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MORE consultation is needed on plans to give new parents up to a year off work before they are brought back to the States, according to a Scrutiny panel chairman.

Deputy Kirsten Morel

Social Security Minister Judy Martin recently withdrew her family-friendly legislation due to a legal technicality but plans to relodge them later this year.

Under the proposals, the amount of time new parents would be able to take off work would increase and the first six weeks of leave would be paid for by the employer.

However, St Lawrence Deputy Kirsten Morel, who chairs the Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel, said the plans could have dangerous consequences for small businesses.

He said: ‘I am going to seek a meeting with the minister, because I believe that not enough consultation has been done and they haven’t spoken to enough of the right employers.

‘This is going to hit small employers, who maybe haven’t been able to attend consultation events.

‘Companies who have a big HR department can get involved, but some smaller businesses can’t and this is a law that is going to impact them.

‘In my manifesto I said I didn’t want to let in poor legislation and I believe this is a poor bit of legislation. It has the right intentions and is a good idea on the face of it, but the consultation was flawed.

‘I am disappointed the minister has only withdrawn it for something unrelated. It is going to cause inequality, if anything, because some people won’t be able to afford to do this.’

Under the plans, the first six weeks of leave for both parents would be paid by employers. Mothers would continue to be entitled to statutory maternity leave of £216.86 a week for 18 weeks – an allowance which is paid directly to recipients and deducted from what employers would pay for the first six weeks.

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