On November 13 2012, the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced plans to extend flexible working rights to all employees and introduce shared parental leave.
Elizabeth Duff, Senior Policy Adviser for NCT, the UK’s largest charity for parents, said:
“NCT, along with other groups representing parents, has worked with government on the issue of leave for parents around childbirth. We support the aims of the changes in terms of expanding the flexibility of leave arrangements and in encouraging partners to share the joys and the hard work of early parenthood. For parents, having time together with their new baby can reduce the fatigue and stress which puts pressure on couple relationships.
“We are pleased to see that more consideration will be given in the near future to extended paternity leave. We also recognise that tax reform will go some way to help lower earners. However, while flexibility is an excellent principle, we are concerned that families on low incomes will still have fewer choices and children in these situations will remain at a disadvantage. We would like to see longer periods of well-paid leave for both parents, enabling a range of realistic options for all families.
“Overall, we welcome the new proposals which will widen the range of choices and enable women to return confidently to work at a time they want to do so. This allows mothers and fathers time to make good childcare arrangements and, on return to the workplace, be able to focus on their work, maintaining a relationship of trust and loyalty between parent workers and employers.”