The Government has proposed a new Children and Families Bill this will offer both parents the opportunity to care for a new born baby. The plans will allow parents to ‘mix and match’ the care between them for during the first year. It also aims to extend the opportunity for flexible working to all employees not just those in a “carer” position.
Jo Swinson, the business minister, has said that the current arrangements for maternity leave were ‘old fashioned and rigid’. These new measures aim to redress the current situation and allow childcare options to come up to date with the way woman are seen in the workplace.
Currently a woman can take up to 12 months maternity leave (only 9 months of this is paid) whereas fathers can only take 2 weeks, although this goes up to 26 weeks if the mother chooses to go back to work early.
By allowing both parents to take equal amounts of leave when a baby is born it will not only encourage woman to carry on their careers after they have a baby, but the opportunity for flexible working will ensure that when a parent does go back to work they aren’t totally out of practice.