Nick Clegg announces changes to parental leave today - What do you think?

(155 Posts)
JaneGMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 13-Nov-12 09:41:33

Hello,

Justine has been asked to comment on Sky News and BBC News about the changes to parental leave announced today by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20295439

The changes include:

- Parents will be able to share parental leave - so after the mother takes the initial two weeks after the birth, parents will be able to divide up the remaining 50 weeks between them as they wish.

- Fathers will gain a new right to take unpaid leave to attend two antenatal appointments.

- Paternity leave will remain at two weeks, to be reviewed in 2018.

- The Government will legislate to extend the Right to Request Flexible working to all employees, not just parents. So, for example, grandparents could apply for flexible working to help care for their grandchildren.

What do you think? We'd really value your views on these changes.

Many thanks,

MNHQ

PurpleGentian Fri 16-Nov-12 18:13:29

achillea - not sure where you've got this idea about mothers going back to work 3 days after birth from?

Currently compulsory maternity leave is 2 weeks, so technically it's illegal for a mother to go back to work 3 days after work. It looks like this will be unchanged in the proposed legislation.

I'm not really sure what relevance 2 weeks vs 3 days has to the rest of your argument.

I don't agree that the new proposals make the welfare of the child less important than the current rules do. In terms of the new rule, it means that in cases where the mother returns to work when the baby is very young (for whatever reason), the family will have the option of the father looking after the baby, instead of having to send the baby to carers outside the immediate family, which in most cases I know, is a nursery or childminder rather than one to one care from grandma / a nanny.

And whether you like it or not, family finance does come into it. In families where the mother is the main earner, the mother going back to work early can be essential if the family's going to keep a roof over their heads.

garlicbaguette Fri 16-Nov-12 19:40:37

Achillea - In the good old days there was no childcare and no time off for ordinary parents. Factory workers took turns to breast-feed their co-workers' babies at the factory gates. Kids were left unsupervised much of the time. Anybody who had a spare moment did the 'minding'; children were "passed from pillar to post" as routine. This SAHM bonding malarkey, while very nice, was deliberately invented to get women out of the workplace after WW2. It's a luxury and an anomaly.

Xenia Fri 16-Nov-12 21:42:39

PG that is true but only for employees so I was lucky enough to be able to take business calls within 24 hours of the twins being born and was not subject to the market interference whichi s the 2 week rule.

PurpleGentian Fri 16-Nov-12 22:47:18

Xenia - I suspected that self employed women might be able to easily get around that rule!

Not that they're talking about removing the 2 week rule anyhow.

Xenia Sat 17-Nov-12 07:48:40

The rule does not apply to the self employed as far as I know nor to housewives who often have to be looking after a toddler or doing the washing the day after birth. It is just employers who are not allowed to take back an employee until the 14 days from birth is up (it is 4 weeks for factory workers).
I'm not particularly against the 2 week rule and only 6 weeks on 90% pay is reasonable too as it reflects recovery period, 6 week check at the GP etc

. I just never was eligible for the 6 weeks at 90% pay and actually it's benefited me as roll on nearly 30 years and one reason I earn a lot is I was never stuck at home on maternity leave my career suddenly playing second fiddle to a man nor getting sexist roles established at home.

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