Chancellor George Osborne has announced that he will extend shared parental leave and pay to working grandparents, in recognition of the crucial role that working grandparents play in providing childcare for their families.
Approximately seven million grandparents are said to be involved in childcare, with evidence suggesting that nearly 2 million grandparents have given up work, reduced their hours or have taken time off work to help their families who cannot afford childcare costs. More than half of mothers rely on grandparents for childcare when they first go back to work after maternity leave, and over 60 per cent of working grandparents with grandchildren aged under 16 provide some childcare.
Consultation on the new measure will begin in the first half of 2017, with the aim of implementing the policy by 2018. The extension of shared parental leave and pay to working grandparents will ensure that hardworking families can structure their lives in a way that will work best for them and will provide flexible working arrangements for grandparents without the fear of losing their job.