Grandparents will be able to take shared parental leave under plans announced at the Conservative Party conference.

The announcement follows indications in the summer that the Government was looking at allowing parents to transfer part of their family-friendly leave to grandparents.

Shared parental leave was introduced in April 2015, enabling working mothers to end their maternity leave in order to share leave and pay with their partner.

By being able to share the leave with the child’s grandparents, it will provide an option for parents to return to work more quickly.

It will also encourage more grandparents to remain in employment, rather than quit their jobs to help with childcare.

Chancellor George Osborne told The Mail on Sunday that the move would help families keep down the cost of childcare. “More than half of mothers rely on grandparents for childcare when they first return to work after having a baby,” said Osborne. “In many families, grandparents play a central role in caring for their grandchildren and helping to keep down the costs of childcare.
“Increasing numbers of grandparents, however, also want to remain in work themselves. Research shows two million grandparents have either given up a job, reduced their hours or taken time off work to look after their grandchildren.”

The Government has said it aims to implement the policy by 2018, consulting on the details in the first half of next year.

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