New rights for father's to take up to six month's paternity leave has been announced by the government.
The scheme which comes into force from April 2011 gives new dad's three months paid leave and the time off can be taken during the second half of a baby's first year, if the mother returns to work.
The plans outlined by Gordon Brown in September said they were about "giving couples more freedom, dads more rights and children more time with the two people who love them most".
At present dads are entitled to two weeks' paid leave and mothers to 52, 39 of which are paid.
However the Government says take-up is likely to be low, with less than one in 16 fathers expected to leave work for a period of full-time childcare and ministers are reassuring small businesses that the impact will be minimal with less than one per cent expected to be affected by the changes.
But the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) are reported by the Daily Telegraph to have written to ministers about what they said was one of eight extra costs due to come in next year, demanding an end to the "constant threat of tinkering to employment law" and calling for a three-year moratorium on changes while firms dealt with the economic downturn.
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