Family-friendly policies, procedures and the law



With the extension in recent years of family-friendly rights (with more to come from the Work and Families Bill), and in the light of continuing focus on equal opportunities, it is essential that employers not only comply with legal requirements but also ensure that those requirements are reflected in their policies and procedures, not least to ensure that line managers deal appropriately with such issues.

This practical workshop reviews all the legal requirements for maternity, parental, paternity, adoption and dependant leave, using practical examples and case studies to highlight potential difficulties in the management of family-friendly policies and procedures.

Training objectives

This course will help participants:
  • Appreciate the importance of family-friendly rights
  • Understand the key legal requirements
  • Deal effectively with all maternity-related issues
  • Get to grips with parental and dependant leave, adoption and paternity
  • Contribute to the development of appropriate policies and procedures
  • Avoid the common pitfalls
  • Help ‘spread the word’ via the line managers


This course is intended for HR practitioners at all levels and is invaluable both for those new to the area and for those in need of a refresher.


A highly-participative, practical and informative one-day course, presented in an outgoing, informal and relaxed style. Business examples, case studies and discussion briefs are used to stimulate participant interest and to cater for a range of learning styles.

The expert trainer

Toni is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and a member with 15 years standing of the Employment Tribunal judiciary (the youngest member ever appointed). Formerly an HR Director within the BAA group of companies, she is an independent HR / employment law consultant of more than ten years’ standing. She has worked with many organisations as a consultant, auditing HR policies, procedures and practices as well as managing complex and sensitive issues such as redundancy, TUPE transfer, reorganisations, etc. An author and trainer, she is also a lecturer for the CIPD graduate qualification.

The organisations she has worked with include, to name but a few, Orange, Ford, AXA Insurance, Westminster City Council, Zurich, OFT, CAFCASS, The White Company, Eurolink Group plc, RDF plc, Canute, BSS, IBIS Hotels, Vinci, British American Tobacco and Brunel Care.

Her programmes are both participative and highly enjoyable and the reaction from participants is always outstandingly positive , as shown by the following client feedback:

‘Exceptional. Feedback from our managers has always been second to none. Cannot be recommended highly enough.’ British American Tobacco

‘Can’t remember when I have enjoyed a day’s ‘work’ so much. It was extremely interesting and informative and it was also a lot of fun – I have spoken to the other delegates and they were of the same opinion. Toni was extremely knowledgeable on employment law and had a great sense of humour – many, many thanks and we look forward to seeing you for more training and development initiatives within Vinci.’ Vinci plc

‘Materials provided are excellent – far exceeded expectations. A great workshop, group energy was brilliant (not easy or expected), which is down to Toni. Great presenter, very knowledgeable and enthusiastic.’ The White Company

‘One of the best course presenters I have seen in some time.’ AXA Insurance

‘Toni recently ran a two day training programme for all of our middle/senior managers on a range of leadership skills. The feedback as always was outstanding. The training was informative, engaging and entertaining. Toni used a range of different techniques to ensure we were given the information and skills we needed to improve our coaching and leadership capability whilst inspiring us to adapt the methods to address our own specific issues. We learnt some very valuable skills and had a thoroughly enjoyable two days.’ Brunel Care

Course outline

  1. Legal outline
    • Statutory family-related rights at work
    • Consequences of claims against the employer
    • The Equal Opportunities Commission: role, research and code of practice
  2. Maternity issues
    • Issues during pregnancy
      – Time-off for ante-natal care
      – Health and safety: risk assessments, alternative work or suspension
      – Ill-health absence
      – Recruitment
      – Promotions and performance appraisals
      – Dismissals and redundancy
      – Sex discrimination issues
    • Maternity leave
      – Qualifying for leave
      – Sickness trigger for leave
      – Ordinary and additional maternity leave
      – Employers’ own schemes
      – Contact during maternity leave
      – Dismissals during leave and redundancy
      – Automatically unfair dismissals
    • Maternity pay
      – Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
      – Entitlement
      – Employee benefits (including pay increases and bonuses during maternity leave, holiday pay and other benefits)
    • Returning to work)
      – Job, pay and status)
      – Flexible and part-time working)
      – Failure to return
  3. Parental and dependant leave
    • The right to parental leave
    • The right to time off to care for dependants
  4. Adoption and paternity pay and leave
    • Statutory Adoption Pay: entitlement and rates
    • Statutory Paternity Pay: entitlement and rates
    • Adoption leave: how much and when
    • Paternity leave: how much and when
  5. Flexible working
    • Legal outline
    • Managing requests, in terms of procedure
    • Reasons to refuse
    • Revisions pending
  6. Areas to watch
    • Managing periods of leave
    • Benefits and bonuses during leave
    • Fraudulent claims
    • Recent case law
  7. Review and close

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