From early 2018, parents will have the option to transfer up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of parental leave pay to grandparents providing childcare. Working grandparents will be allowed to share parental leave and pay to help care for their grandchildren under new plans laid out by the Government.
Many grandparents play a "central role" in caring for their grandchildren and the move would help them do that while allowing them to remain in work, said Chancellor George Osborne.
The plans, which were announced at the Conservative conference in Manchester, would extend the current system, which allows parents to share leave and statutory parental pay.
Mr Osborne said the policy would be of particular benefit to single mothers who do not have a partner to share leave with, adding that the new policy will help many parents to return to work more quickly if they want to.
Dr Lucy Peake, chief executive of Grandparents Plus, welcomed the news. She said: "Working parents up and down the country rely on the seven million grandparents who are providing care for their children, and we welcome the Government's recognition of grandparents' vital caring role as well as the introduction of greater choice for families about balancing child care and work."