Work and Families Act (Northern Ireland) 2015 comes into force

Implementation date: 5 April 2015

The Work and Families Act (Northern Ireland) 2015 introduces shared parental leave and statutory shared parental pay for parents and adopters. It also introduces the right for expectant fathers, and partners of pregnant women, to take time off work to attend two antenatal appointments with the expectant mother or for prospective adoptive parents to take time off to attend adoption appointments. The Act also extends the right to request flexible working to all employees with 26 weeks' service.

The Department for Employment and Learning has published Shared Parental Leave and Pay: employers' technical guide to shared parental leave and pay which sets out further details about how the new system of leave will work.

The new system of shared parental leave and pay will come into effect in relation to babies due on or after 5 April 2015 and to adoptive parents of children placed for adoption on or after that date.

The Regulations that implement the new regime on shared parental leave and pay are: