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United Kingdom : parental leave of 20 weeks with full pay for all Hachette employees, to encourage new fathers to take time off
Planet Labor, 13 September 2019, n°11350 - www.planetlabor.com

Hachette UK, subsidiary of Hachette Livre and the second-largest publishing group in the UK, is granting new mothers and fathers within its company identical rights to parental leave – 20 weeks of leave with 100% of pay, which they can take in one or multiple blocks. The decision follows on from the work of the Gender Balance Network, which was set up at the group. In the UK, the system of ‘shared parental leave’ allows parents to share a leave period of 50 weeks following the birth of a child (see article n°8254), however very few couples (2%) actually make use of this right. Hachette hopes, with its new measure, to put men and women on an equal footing and encourage men to also take a long period of leave. Melanie Tansey, HR director at Hachette UK, says: “We believe that equalising the entitlement to SPL pay is a major step forward in tackling society’s preconceptions of the role of women as the primary carer. It is for every family to decide what arrangements best suit them.” Meanwhile another new measure announced by the publishing group, which employs some 800 people, will see all jobs  made eligible for flexible working arrangements (remote working, job sharing, part-time, flexible hours). Previously an employee would have to wait six months before requesting such flexibility.