Learndirect business, has launched a free e-learning course on the Work and Families Act which came into force last week.
The half-hour course covers changes brought in by the Act, including longer maternity and adoption leave, potentially longer paternity and carer leave, and up to 10 optional Keeping In Touch (KIT) days to keep new mothers connected with the workplace.
Michelle Lofthouse, director of business development at learndirect business, said: "While the Work and Families Act might be viewed as another burden, when weighed against the potential cost of loss of staff and productivity, it also offers advantages.
"Although women make up nearly 50% of the workforce, old fashioned employers are costing the economy up to £23 billion by failing to recognise that well-trained, experienced and educated women can still make a major contribution to the workforce even if they don't want to work five full days a week. This statistic really demonstrates the need for businesses to adapt to the needs of the changing workforce.
"At the same time businesses are reporting more difficulties recruiting skilled employees than they did a few years ago. This growing skills gap is now triggering a sea change in employers' attitudes to work life balance. Companies are recognising that offering employees opportunities to work flexibly can have enormous benefits for productivity and staff retention. Businesses strive to be an employer of choice and the legislation encourages different ways of thinking about how to do this."
The Work and Families e-learning course can be accessed by registering at www.learndirect-business.com