For babies due on or after 5th April 2015 or those who will be placed for adoption after that date there will be new rules around the leave so that parents can take the traditional maternity leave period between them. The mother must take the compulsory leave but after the initial 2weeks or 4 weeks if she works in a factory the remaining leave can be shared between the parents. It can be taken in up to three separate blocks and the rules about eligibility and notice for employers are complex. To assist, the Government has issued guidance and provided more information which can be easily digested by those affected. You can see more here.
In advance of the implementation date, employers will need to get to grips with the changes and in particular the notification changes and when they can refuse or whether they must grant the leave. Employers should also update any paternity/maternity or flexible working policies they have which cover periods of leave after adoption or childbirth.