Those involved in employment or family law have been anxiously awaiting the publishing of the children and families bill by the government. The bill outlines more clearly the changes that are likely to come into force around changes to maternity leave and matters around flexible working.The aim of the bill is to bring mothers and fathers onto a more equal footing in the workplace, in an attempt to move away from women being the ones whose working lives are more affected by having children. Parents will now be able to share the 52 weeks of leave, as long as they do not take them together, and women will have the opportunity be able to return to work much earlier than before. This will allow for fathers to spend more time with their children when they are at an early age.The bill will also make changes to flexible working, by extending the right that employees have to request flexible working. This will now be a right for all employees and not just those who are parents and have dependant commitments.The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Setfords Solicitors are a national full service law firm, with family law solicitors in Watford and across the country.