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Working grandparents will be able to take shared parental leave to care for grandchildren

Grandparents will be able to look after their grandchildren so parents can return to work. Credit: PA

Paid parental leave is to be extended to working grandparents under plans announced by George Osborne.

Grandparents who are working will be able to look after newborns so that parents can return to work and will be eligible for paternity leave benefits.

The plan would extend the current system where parents can share up to 52 weeks of leave.

Families will also be allowed to share statutory shared parental pay which is currently £139.5 a week - or 90 percent of average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.

“More than half of mothers rely on grandparents for childcare when they first return to work after having a baby,” the chancellor said.

"Research shows two million grandparents have either given up a job, reduced their hours or taken time off work to look after their grandchildren."

He said that allowing them to share leave with their children will keep thousands more in the workplace.