Whilst many SMEs and small businesses across the UK are expressing concerns over the implications of suggested changes to parental leave, announced by Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, it may still be possible for many mothers and fathers to split their time between parenthood and work by working from home, advises Davinci Virtual Offices the UKs largest operator of virtual offices.

“The changes that Nick Clegg has suggested would allow parents to share parental leave, thus allowing mothers to return to work early if they so wish and letting the father take up the remaining leave, up to a maximum of six months,” comments Davincis UK managing director, Steve Golding. “This temporary loss of key staff could have a major impact on small businesses, whilst those on extended leave also have to cope with loss of earnings.

“However, the flexible working solutions provided by using virtual office and virtual assistant services would allow Britains army of small businesses to retain the services of key employees on parental leave, whilst allowing mothers and fathers on such leave the opportunity to continue to earn a wage and retain that important link with their employer. Some one third of mothers never return to work, according to research by the Policy Standards Institute, as many find it difficult to return to work once they have lost that on-going connection with their employer.

“We are now firmly in the technology age and its so easy to “commute” electronically to the office, and that office can be located almost anywhere if its a virtual office. So, those parents who prefer to work from the comfort of the home office can enjoy a “virtual” presence at a prestigious business address, including mail forwarding and telephone answering services , whilst at the same time keeping a watchful eye on their children.

“Clearly it is so important for parents to develop a close bond with their children, especially in their early years, and parental leave plays an important role in helping to establish those bonds. However, by using the services of a virtual office neither employer nor employee needs to break the bonds that link them.”

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