HALTON companies could be in for a headache next April when measures to help workers with families become law.
A CIPD-KPMG survey has found many businesses are bracing themselves for difficulties in meeting the provisions of The Work and Families Act 2006.
From April 2007, maternity and adoption pay will be extended from six to nine months and the right to request flexible working for people who look after adults will be strengthened.
The act also enables the Government to introduce a right for fathers to take up to 26 weeks' additional paternity leave.
Just one in 10 employers surveyed think any aspect of the Act will be beneficial to their organisation.
Smaller employers are more likely than larger employers to cite difficulties and less likely to see benefits.
The majority of employers believe the Act will cause at least some difficulty.
Mike Emmott, CIPD adviser, employee relations, said: 'Most good employers recognise the importance of work-life balance and many already offer more than what is provided for in the Act. However, it is clear from the survey that there is scepticism about some of the provisions, especially those relating to paternity leave.
'The new rights for fathers won't be introduced until 2008 at the earliest, but it is important for the Government to use the intervening time to ensure that the provisions will help workers with families without making life more difficult for those who employ them.'