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Swinson: Shared parental leave must be right from day one

April 4, 2019 6:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

The Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Jo Swinson, has today launched a bid to reform shared parental leave, including requiring the Government to make shared parental leave a day one right.

The former Employment Relations Minister, who first introduced shared parental leave four years ago this week, said "shared parental leave is good for children, good for families" but warned a government review and improvements are overdue.

The Liberal Democrat MP, who herself has used shared parental leave over the last year, is therefore introducing a new Private Member's Bill which she is calling on Ministers to back.

To mark the bid, Jo Swinson will host a roundtable with dads today to discuss the benefits of shared parental leave and the pressure on many dads not to take it.

Jo Swinson said:

"Shared parental leave is good for children, good for families and good for equality in the workplace. We have made a lot of progress, but too many parents and children are missing out.

"Shared parental leave should be a day one right for all workers, just as maternity leave is, and be extended to self-employed dads. And to better support families of all sizes and shapes, the right to request flexible working must also be a day one right.

"Employers should also put their money where their mouth is. If they're serious about being more family-friendly, then they must enhance shared parental pay in the same way they do for maternity pay.

"If the Conservatives were not bogged down in their own Brexit mess, then they could have delivered these changes already. Lucky for them, the hard work is done, and all Ministers need to do is back my Bill. Parents are watching."