Charities have backed plans to extend paternity leaveThe government's decision to retain the previous Labour administration's plan to extend paternity leave has received a warm welcome by charities, after fears they could be scrapped by the coalition.

In August, the Department for Business revealed it was considering the future of the legislation, despite the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats promising to "encourage shared parenting" in their coalition agreement in May.

"We're pleased that the additional paternity leave provisions will be going ahead in April 2011," said Working Families chief executive Sarah Jackson. "Women who are pregnant now are planning with their partners for next April."

She claimed both workers and employers alike will benefit from the introduction of the new provisions and called on businesses to take preliminary steps to prepare to allow staff to take paternity leave next year.

Last month, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills invited feedback on Labour's plans to force companies to give employees time off work for supplementary training.

Posted by Hayley Edwards