At the Conservative party conference this week George Osborne has announced that working grandparents will soon be able to share parental leave entitlement, notes Rachael Saunders, Director, Age at Work.
This is an interesting shift - an acknowledgement of the importance of all generations in family life.
As well as supporting parents and children, the explicit intention of the Chancellor was to support working longer, to retain grandparents -it is “an opportunity for employers who want to retain older members of their workforce, who might otherwise choose to leave the workforce”.
“ It is an opportunity for employers who want to retain older members of their workforce, who might otherwise choose to leave the workforce. ”
There is more government could do - in our Missing Million - Recommendations for Action report we called for the right to request flexible working from day one of a new job, which would allow parents, grandparents, or others who needed agility to combine work and other responsibilities for longer than just the first year of a child's life.
There is more for employers to do - carers of adults need better support, and there is so much scope for rethinking how employers support people to combine work and care at different stages of their lives.
For today, it will be interesting to see how many families choose to share parental leave with grandparents, and whether there are other policy shifts in the pipeline that will support older adults to stay in work whilst supporting their families.