As hopefully a lot of you are aware, we at MNHQ have been campaigning for employers to be upfront about their policies around maternity, paternity and other forms of parental leave and pay. In our survey, 82% of Mumsnet users told us that they'd be reluctant to ask about maternity policies or other parental leave policies in an interview for fear it would make a job offer less likely – a pretty rational fear given levels of maternity and pregnancy discrimination.
We're delighted that the government has now announced that it is expanding its consultation on this issue. You can see more details about the whole consultation and share your response to the publish parental leave proposals in particular.
Also included in the consultation document are:
- proposals for encouraging employers to advertise jobs as flexible by default;
- proposals for encouraging more fathers to make use of shared parental leave and paternity leave – including upping the levels of statutory paternity pay and increasing the amount of statutory paternity leave;
- some questions about how statutory maternity leave and pay might be affected by changes to shared parental leave or statutory paternity leave and pay;
- questions about whether the entire systems of maternity, paternity and parental leave should be overhauled and replaced with one cohesive set of 'family leave' policies – and what the implications of this might be; and
- proposals for a new entitlement to neonatal leave and pay for parents whose babies are in special neonatal care.
Given this set of policy issues, we're sure you'll have thoughts – MNHQ will be submitting a response to the consultation so do let us know your views, as ever.