Lib Dems to introduce extra paid month of leave for fathers

The Liberal Democrats will introduce an additional month of paid parental leave especially for fathers to encourage greater sharing of parental responsibilities.

The policy will build on our transformational achievement of introducing Shared Parental Leave in order to ensure that new parents can make the decisions which work best for their family.

Jo Swinson, who introduced the original Shared Parental Leave in the Coalition Government, said:

The Liberal Democrat introduction of Shared Parental Leave was a massive step towards more equal parenting, and recognising the vital role that fathers play. Parents across the UK have already benefitted from greater flexibility and freedom in how they share the care for their new baby.

But more needs to be done in order to encourage men to take leave when they become a dad, to bond with their child during the early weeks and months of their life. Research shows that fathers being more involved in their children’s lives is good for children’s development and good for the health and happiness of the whole family.

That is why the Liberal Democrats want to give dads across the country the chance to spend more time with their children.

A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to change the direction of this country. If you want an open, tolerant and united Britain, this is your chance.

Susan Kramer, Liberal Democrat Shadow Business Secretary, said:

Creating a fair system for parents everywhere not only benefits new mums and dads but also helps our business sector.

Having a workforce that is both more flexible and more motivated will benefit UK businesses greatly.

It is the Liberal Democrats who are standing up for fairness and flexibility for parents.

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5 Comments

  • A fantastic forward looking policy! Now let’s get it out there!

  • suzanne Fletcher 12th May '17 - 10:13pm

    just something for those who say such cannot be afforded. Someone I work with supporting a community forum has just come back from maternity leave. She is full of good ideas, and getting on with things. As well as parental leave being a good thing for parents and thus the child, it can be of benefit to the employer too !

  • I’m very supportive of this. It will be of huge benefit in the longer term, helping overwhelmed mothers through the most difficult time, and hopefully encourage more dads to stay involved in the following months and years. With families more spread out these days, the support of the extended family isn’t always readily available, so needed more than ever.

    One criticism is that it makes it harder for business to plan, and that it’s ‘bad enough’ having to deal with women taking time off. I get the strong sense that many organisations still discriminate against women who they think might take maternity leave, which essentially results in all women of childbearing age suffering. If those employers now have to wonder about the men too, then it might even things out a bit.

  • David Evans 13th May '17 - 9:45am

    Of course in parts of the county where there are lots of self employed people like in many rural areas, who pays the paternity leave? Simples, it’s the employer.

    What about those in the gig economy?

    Those on zero hours contracts?

    The problem with this is that the main people who will benefit are those in relatively secure jobs (mainly the public sector?), not tenant farmers, Uber drivers, or zero hours shelf stackers in supermarkets.

    Sorry, it’s a nice idea, but in fighting back against a May landslide, it comes nowhere. We really have to improve our campaigning focus right now.

    May is the problem, unbridled power the weapon and the ordinary people of the UK the target. We have to fight back, not retreat into a comfort zone of ‘nice’ policies.

  • Bernard Aris 14th May '17 - 4:20pm

    At the risk of boring everybody to bits:

    *) this too was part of the D66 General Election Manifesto this spring, in which we advanced from 12 to 19 seats (in a 150-seats Commons).

    We want to extend parental leave for fathers from the abysmal, miserly 5 days it now is in the Netherlands (until recently: 2 days..,.) to three months, on 70% of their salary; employers can ask subsidies to pay for this. We too point to the father-bonding aspect.
    This liberates the mothers also to start returning to work, thus eliminating unfair promotion disadvantages wich are the reality now.

    We’re now part of the “motor block” of any upcoming Dutch coalition government, so there is a good chance that this (or something advancing towards this), will be Dutch government policy this autumn…

    D66 is busy reforming all aspects of family building (gay couples and adoption; laws about the family name of a baby in such couples, etcetera) and family life so that laws, rules and regulations fit the 21st century reality, including how to combine work and raising a family.

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