Long gone are the days when childcare meant sacrificing your career. Yep, according to announcements by Chancellor George Osborne, parents can now share their parental leave pay with the child’s grandparents, meaning that they can return to work much sooner than normal without having to fork out for child minders.
The news is especially good for single mums who want to return to work but have no-one to share their statutory leave pay with, while grandmas and grandpas will receive £140 a week (or 90% of their average weekly earnings) as well as a legal right to return to their jobs after a year of ‘granny leave’.
Speaking of the change, Mr Osborne said: “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.
“It’s an opportunity for employers who want to retain older members of their workforce, who might otherwise choose to leave the workforce permanently.”
There’s just one catch: grandparents who want to take up the scheme must be in full-time work, which isn’t much to ask considering the huge benefits on offer to parents who have previously had to give up their entire careers.
But not everyone is as in favour of the change as we are. Despite the Tory Party saying that they are “determined to back working families” and “give them the freedom to choose what will work best for them”, others see ‘granny leave’ as a ploy to win back the support of working families and as a distraction to the tax credit cuts which could see families £1350 worse off per year.
For now, anyway, ‘granny leave’ stands as a proposed reform and is yet to have been given the go ahead. It’s certainly got the all clear from us!