Maternity Action welcomes Shared Parental Leave announcement and calls for business to support the reforms
The Government has announced its proposals for changes to the
maternity and parental leave, enabling women to transfer more of their maternity leave to fathers. Maternity Action
welcomes the move and looks forward to examining the proposals in detail. Meanwhile it is calling for business to support
the reforms as a step forward.
Rosalind Bragg, Director, Maternity Action said:
welcome any proposals to allow genuine shared parenting, which is good for the baby, mother and father. It is important that
families are allowed to decide how to share parenting according to individual need and that fathers can play a full in bringing
up a family. This supports progress towards equality between men and women.
‘Many businesses understand
that fathers, as well as mothers, should be allowed to carry out parenting duties and we need to spread this good practice
‘Our worry is that there will be a low take up because the Government is not offering
fathers the additional four weeks of paternity leave which was originally proposed.
protection for parents must be a priority for a Government committed to supporting families. Unlawful pregnancy discrimination
remains widespread, forcing pregnant women and new parents out of the workforce at a time when they most need secure employment.
“There is good evidence on the health benefits of an effective system of leave, including less maternal
depression, fewer low birth weight babies and more breastfeeding. This means savings for the NHS as well as improving
the lives of parents and babies.
“Enabling both parents to remain in the workforce during their childbearing
years has long term benefits for the UK by protecting family incomes during the recession, reducing the number of families
living in poverty, and reducing pressure on the benefits system. It also means that employers retain valuable skills and experience
that are otherwise lost.”
Note to Editors
1. Rosalind Bragg is
available for further comment and interview
2. The Deputy Prime Minister
made an announcement on changes to parental leave today.
3. Maternity Action is a national charity providing advice and information to pregnant women, new mothers and
their families on maternity rights and benefits. Maternity Action helps 28 000 parents each month through our web-based information
and telephone advice service.
Maternity Action welcomes the Government's pre-announcement of Shared Parental Leave.
"Shared parental leave will increase the flexibility of current maternity leave to enable more
fathers to share in caring for their baby.
"This is a long overdue change which recognises that fathers as
well as mothers can care for their baby.
"The increased flexibility will offer families real choices about
managing work and caring responsibilities.
"We are mystified at claims that this is a burden on business.
The proposals allow families to share existing entitlements.
"Many people are unaware that Statutory Maternity
Pay is reimbursed by Government and the same arrangements apply to shared parental leave."
Note to Editors
1. Rosalind Bragg is available for comment
0791 338 1208
2. Maternity Action is a national charity providing advice and information to pregnant
women, new mothers and their families on maternity rights and benefits. Maternity Action helps 28 000 parents each month through
our web-based information and telephone advice service.
Family un-friendly policies are not the way forward for women
October 8th 2012
Responding to criticism of
maternity leave and pay from right wing think tank, Politeia, Maternity Action Director, Rosalind Bragg, called for greater
support for families rather than stripping away fundamental rights.
un-friendly policies are not the way to promote women’s progress in the workforce.
“Women take maternity leave to care for and bond with their babies
and most women return to work as soon as they feel able to leave their child.
Lawlor is being disingenuous, as axing leave and pay will not help women’s progress in the workforce. Giving fathers
more statutory rights to take leave would be an important step in sharing the burden between parents.
“Maternity leave and pay are fundamental to women’s engagement with the workforce during their childbearing
“For most families, women’s work is an economic necessity not an optional extra.
Women’s earnings make up 26% of family income, on average, and for many families it is much greater.
“UK maternity pay falls well short of entitlements in most of our international trading partners. China, for
example, pays women 100% of earnings for 90 days. The UK offers 90% of earnings for only six weeks before pay drops
to a modest flat rate.
“We should be aiming to increase financial support for families in
the recession, not strip away fundamental employment rights and family income.
have heard a succession of challenges to maternity and paternity leave and pay from voices within and close to Government.
We are waiting to hear a clear statement from Government to defend mothers’ and fathers’ rights at work.
“People often forget that Statutory Maternity Pay is reimbursed by Government."
1. Rosalind Bragg is available for comment email@example.com
0791 338 1208
Action is a national charity working to end inequality and promote the health and well-being of all pregnant women, their
partners and children from before conception through to the child's early years (www.maternityaction.org.uk). Maternity Action is leading the Valuing Maternity Campaign, a coalition of organisations who want to support
pregnant women and new mothers at a time when maternity rights and services are under threat. (www.valuingmaternity.org)
Maternity Action in the News
Campaigners welcome Clegg's parental leave reform | ITV News | 13.11.12
Parents will be able to share up to a year's leave to look after their newborn children under 'radical' shake-up | Independent | 13.11.12
Maternity Action welcomes Shared Parental Leave announcement | Health and Social Care Reform | 12.11.12
MP speaks out for new mothers | Messenger | 1.11.12
UNISON hosts Maternity Action seminar | UNISON News | 25.10.12
Parental leave change to give fathers year off work | The Guardian | 12.10.12
TUC tells workers: Lose 'lucky me' attitude | Morning Star | 02.10.12
Parental leave: Fathers to get almost 12 months | BBC News | 12.10.12
Unite stands up for maternity rights | Morning Star | 12.07.12
Acas and EHRC launch guide to maternity rights and redundancy | HR Magazine | 13.07.12
As Yahoo hire six months pregnant CEO Marissa Meyer … is this the end of discrimination? | Grazia Daily | 18.07.12
Is a new era born? Yahoo hires Marissa Mayer... who's pregnant | The Independent | 18.07.12