Maternity and paternity pay allowances should be removed from the benefit cap

Released on: 26 March 2014

Ahead of the vote in parliament today on the benefit cap, Belinda Phipps, CEO of the parents charity NCT called for maternity and paternity pay allowances to be removed.

Belinda Phipps said:

“We think that the government is sending out the wrong message to parents by including maternity and paternity pay within the cap. Parents tell us they are already struggling to get by on statutory maternity and paternity pay – which is a hundred pounds a week lower than the minimum wage. If the government want to show they value the contribution parents make when they stay at home to care for their small children they should take this benefit out of the cap, and raise it in line with the cost of living.”

Notes to editors:

Research by NCT, based on  IPPR analysis, has found that government plans to limit annual increases to maternity and paternity pay to 1% will mean that by 2015 parents lose out by around £224 throughout the course of their 39 weeks parental leave.

The Parent Penalty Infographic:
On average, £224 could buy 1,500 nappies, a year’s supply of sleep suits, 21 picture books, one apple every day for two years, or pay heating bills for two months.