Family-friendly benefits

Bar Huberman Editor's message: Employers should be aware of the statutory requirements covering pay and leave for parents. Issuing policies on the various types of family-related leave and pay will help your line managers and employees to understand their rights and duties.

Many employers provide benefits in excess of the statutory minimum, which can have a positive effect on recruitment and retention. One thing to bear in mind when providing enhanced benefits is the duty not to discriminate, for example if you offer contractual maternity pay but not contractual shared parental pay, there is a risk of discrimination claims by male employees.

One of the most common family-friendly benefits provided by employers is childcare vouchers. However, these are being replaced with a new tax-free childcare scheme, which launched on 21 April 2017 (although there will be arrangements for existing members to continue to participate in a childcare vouchers scheme). The new scheme does not require employer participation.

Bar Huberman, senior employment law editor

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