UK government are launching a consultation to ‘challenge the assumption entrenched in our parental leave entitlements that the mother must be the primary career in the early stages of a child’s life’
Penny Mordaunt, Minister for Women & Equalities, “Shared parental leave is hugely advantageous for men and women and forms a key part of the government’s equality agenda. It allows men to spend more time with their child, helping them develop that paternal bond, and provides women with vital support at home during such an important time in their child’s life”
The Prime Minister Theresa May said “in introducing shared parental leave… it is still mother’s.. who shoulder the burden of childcare… we need to do more and that’s why we have launched a consultation”
The consultation also cover new proposals in relation to neonatal care, Theresa May “Parents have enough on their plates without worrying about their parental leave running out and having to return to work before their precious newborn comes home… so we are proposing a new Neonatal Leave and Pay entitlement…”.
Employers may be encouraged to publish their leave and pay and flexible working policies.
The government believes that changing paternity leave will promote better gender equality in work and home.
The UK is below the OECD average for paternity leave though the highest on length of maternity leave!
Penny Mordaunt “This announcement is another step in the right direction, towards giving parents even more choice about how they manage work and parenting responsibilities. Fathers should not have to rely on annual and unpaid leave..”.