Changes to family friendly rights announced by the Chancellor in Pre-Budget Report

United Kingdom

On 2 December 2004, the Chancellor announced important changes to family friendly employment rights.

  • The period of paid maternity leave will increase to 9 months from April 2007. The Chancellor has set a goal of 12 months paid maternity leave by the end of the next Parliament (in 2010).
  • Mothers will be given the right to transfer some of their paid maternity leave entitlement to the child's father by the end of the next Parliament (in 2010).
  • Statutory Maternity Pay to increase to £106 a week from April 2005.
  • From April 2005, the £50 a week tax free limit for childcare vouchers will apply to the face value of the vouchers and associated administrative cost and service charges will also be exempt from tax and NICs.

The Chancellor has also announced that there will be consultation on extending the right to request flexible working to the parents of older children and carers of sick and disabled relatives.