In September 2012 Jo Swinson was appointed the Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Minister for Women and Equalities in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Former Deputy Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Jo chaired the All Party Parliamentary Group on Wellbeing Economics, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image and was a co-founder of the Campaign for Body Confidence.
“…Dads have a key role to play in the first weeks and months of a baby’s life and it is right that the arrangements for parental leave should reflect that…”
Parenting is a shared endeavour – right to attend antenatal appointments will help kick start workplace culture change
Parenting is a shared endeavour and we want to encourage full involvement from fathers from the start. The right to time off work to attend antenatal appointments will help dads and partners play an important role in the early stages of pregnancy and will kick start a culture change in workplaces and help men feel more confident talking to their employers about taking time off for childcare. Dads have a key role to play in the first weeks and months of a baby’s life and it is right that the arrangements for parental leave should reflect that.
Introduction of shared parental leave in April 2015
The next step is introducing shared parental leave in April 2015, giving mums and adopters real choice about when they return to work and dads more time to bond with their children. Employers will benefit from lower staff turnover and having a workforce that is more flexible and motivated.
Shared parental leave and pay comes into effect for babies due on or after 5 April 2015, or adoptions where the child is placed on or after 5 April 2015. Under the scheme, working couples will be able to share untaken maternity leave and pay, following the first two weeks recovery period that mothers have to take off after birth, so up to 50 weeks leave and 37 weeks of pay can be shared. Similar arrangements will be in place for adopters.
Enabling mothers and fathers to keep a strong link in the workplace
This will enable both mothers and fathers to keep a strong link to the workplace, encourage fathers to play a greater role in the early stages of their child’s life and allow employers and employees greater flexibility in reaching agreement on how to best balance work and home needs.