Less than half of employers feel they have the correct system in place to support new UK legislation around maternity and paternity leave.

New laws that have come into effect last week mean that mums will now have the first two weeks off after giving birth, but will then have the option to share the remaining 50 weeks with their partner.

A survey conducted by recruitment specialists Search Consultancy has revealed that 40 percent of businesses who attended recent seminars on updates to employment law feel they have sufficient requirements in place to handle requests for shared parental leave (SPL) and pay.

Around 180 firms attended events designed to highlight the challenges arising from changes in Employment Law. They helped board directors, HR teams, operational leaders and line managers with people responsibility stay as well as critical legislative changes.

Debbie Caswell, Search’s managing director for England, says:

“At Search, we’re really passionate about helping our clients to stay ahead of the game when it comes to employment legislation. Our recent seminars have been hugely popular with the business community so we’re very pleased to be able to continue them throughout 2015.

“The seminars give delegates step by step options along with commercial business solutions to successfully navigate and implement new legislative requirements, and provide an opportunity for guests to bring questions and key pain points to the table.

“The latest series of events highlighted some concerning statistics regarding the readiness of some businesses to deal with the new rules around parental leave – it’s so important to keep abreast of developments and prepare for employee requests.”

The seminars also discussed shared parental leave, pay requests and entitlements and found that just 24 percent of companies planned to offer enhanced SPL pay despite 40 percent currently providing enhanced maternity pay leave.

Also revealed in the survey, only 35 percent of will be expecting line managers to deal with SPL requests.