The proposals for shared parental leave and flexible working are included in the Children and Families Bill 2013 which is currently going through Parliament. The details will be set out in regulations.
Under the new system mothers will be able to share 50 weeks of their 52 weeks maternity leave and 37 weeks of their 39 weeks statutory maternity pay with their partner when they opt into it. If a mother does not opt into the system she will still be entitled to maternity leave and pay as at present.
The Bill also provides for the right to request flexible working to be extended to all employees who have worked for their employer for 26 weeks or more. The current statutory procedure will be repealed to lift the burden on business and the government has asked Acas to produce a code of practice to help businesses manage this new extended right.
The new system is expected to be introduced in 2015. For more information at the GOV.UK website click here.