The family test that was mentioned by Prime Minister David Cameron, and received portions of praise and ridicule from different parties, will include the consideration of grandparents, as well as parents and siblings, according to Pensions Secretary Ian Duncan Smith. He said that policies would be rewritten if they did not include consideration of the role that grandparents play in the lives of children, and said that extended families were the foundation of society, and that policies should help to ensure that they stay together for longer.
The family policy was announced by PM David Cameron and was meant as a means of ensuring that all policies would be family friendly. The PM said that the role of parents and the relationship with siblings would be considered whenever any new policy was drafted, or when old policies were considered for change.
Pensions Secretary, Ian Duncan Smith, has taken this a step further and included grandparents within the list of family relationships that should be considered. Charities have said that it is a positive move, and it will, at the very least, help ensure that grandparents that are responsible for the upbringing and welfare of their grandchildren, will be able to enjoy similar employment rights to the parents of children.
Director of Policy at Relate, which specialises in relationships and families, said that the policy would help the 200,000 grandparents who currently look after the welfare of their grandchildren. Under current laws and regulations, parents are entitled to certain time off, including unpaid time off, if they need to care for their sons or daughters, but it is down to the discretion of employers, whether these same rights are offered to grandparents.
There are many instances where grandparents are left to look after grandchildren, and are responsible for their welfare, and groups have been fighting to gain greater rights for years. Although the original Family Test was treated with some ridicule from some portions, the extension of the test to include grandparents is likely to be seen in a more positive light, and could have implication in future family law cases, as well as in employment law regulations.