Tag Archives: shared parental leave

Jo Swinson MP writes….The next steps for shared parental leave

Today marks the 4th anniversary of shared parental leave – one of my proudest achievements as Employment Relations Minister. Shared Parental Leave is good for children, good for families and good for equality in the workplace.

I was so happy that last year when Gabriel was born, Duncan and I were able to share our parental leave and take it in turns to get to know our newest family member. I got to help Gabriel figure out how to roll over and sit up, and by the time Duncan took over he was busy weaning Gabriel onto solid food. It also meant I could come back to work for six weeks last summer to do my summer tour in East Dunbartonshire and to go to Lib Dem Conference in Brighton.

And I couldn’t think of a better way to mark the anniversary than to spend it with some wonderful dads!

We had eight fathers – and two little ones — join us yesterday morning to talk about shared parental leave and their experience of fatherhood. It was so great to hear about the joys and challenges they have faced.

One of the dads who had only gone back to work this week after six months of taking care of his little boy described it as the ‘best six months of his life’. He and his wife had four months off work together and that really helped them learn together about parenting and reduced the time where one parent is left home, trying to figure it all out and sort through the endless advice and information online.

Others agreed how important it was for them to experience bringing up a baby on their own, getting to know the various tricks to keep baby happy, understanding the mundanity of play, eat, sleep and repeat and just how little time that leaves you for yourself.

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Jo celebrates anniversary of shared parental leave with dads and babies

It’s 4 years today since one of the best achievements of the Lib Dems in Government started – the right of parents to decide between themselves who takes leave when they have a baby.

Jo Swinson was the minister who made it happen and in a cracking thread on Twitter with some fantastic GIFs, she celebrates the anniversary.

She recorded this video:

Yesterday, Jo was on Victoria Derbyshire.

Vanessa Pine was Jo’s special adviser at the time. She helped put the system together. She’s written about how important it is to change the culture to make sure that more dads can take up shared parental leave.

She introduced the concept of “mumsplaining” as an example of what needs to change:

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4 April 2019 – today’s press releases (part 1)

Whilst the drama was, unusually, at the Lords end of the Palace of Westminster today, there was plenty else going on. So much so, that we’re breaking this piece in two today. The second half will be along shortly…

  • Swinson: Shared Parental Leave must be a right from day one
  • Vince Cable visits Yeovil to launch final push of Lib Dem local election campaign
  • Cable: Corbyn must put any deal he agrees with PM back to the people

Swinson: Shared Parental Leave must be a right from day one

The Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Jo Swinson, has today launched a bid to reform …

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Jo Swinson introduces Private Member’s Bill on parental leave

Well done to Lib Dem Deputy Leader Jo Swinson on introducing her Parental Leave and Pay Arrangements Private Member’s Bill yesterday in the Commons. Here she is talking about it:

This bill would require firms which employ more than 250 people to publish their data on parental leave and pay arrangements. As reported in the BBC

Ms Swinson said more than 54,000 women a year lose their jobs because of pregnancy and maternity discrimination, while fathers were worried about taking shared parental leave because of the negative effect on their careers.

Well done Jo on leading the charge! If enacted, this will greatly help parents and prospective parents up and down the country get the support they need from their workplaces.

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Will MPs finally get parental leave?

Jo Swinson is expecting her second baby this Summer. As Minister, she made sure that everyone else had the option to share their parental leave with their partner in a way that suits them.

Men and women will no longer be tied to what history dictates their traditional roles should be with mum holding the baby while dad goes out to work.  Parenting is a shared endeavour and now dads have the opportunity to spend more time with their new baby in those vital early weeks.

Shared parental leave is my proudest achievement in government, and I’m delighted that it is

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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:

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LibLink: Jo Swinson: Shared grandparental leave risks dads missing out

Jo Swinson has cast a critical eye over George Osborne’s plans to extend parental leave to grandparents in an article for Personnel Today.

As minister responsible for introducing shared parental leave just 6 months ago, Jo explained why they hadn’t included grandparents at that time:

When the legislation was being debated in Parliament we looked carefully at extending leave to non-parents, and rejected that change for good reasons. If it is no longer to be about developing parental bonds, then why draw the line at grandparents? Shouldn’t leave then be shareable with aunts, uncles or friends?

Important though other carers and relatives are, parents have a unique role in a child’s life.  Shared parental leave is also about addressing the historical lack of workplace provision for men to fulfil their roles as fathers.

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LibLink: Jo Swinson: Shared Parental Leave is an important step to the wider cultural change that they need

Jo Swinson has been writing for the Huffington Post about what the Liberal Democrats have done on child care and parental leave.

 Liberal Democrats in the coalition government have taken important steps to support parents with childcare costs despite the challenging economic situation. We extended free early years education to 15 hours a week for three and four year olds, and introduced 15 free hours for four in 10 two-year-olds – those from the most hard-pressed homes. We are also introducing Tax Free Childcare to save working families up to £2,000 per child per year from September.

But there’s more to come. Not only a tripling of paternity leave, but extra help with childcare costs.

We also want to extend free early years education to all two year olds. We know that pressure to budget for childcare costs doesn’t just start when a child is two years old, and that the costs can prevent parents from returning to work. We are committed to bridging that gap so that free childcare is available for working parents from the end of paid parental leave. On average, this will save working parents the equivalent of £2,670 a year.

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Swinson and Willott hail start of shared parental leave – but this isn’t the end of the work to be done on this issue

I’ve always said that shared parental leave is one of those policies that ticks all the stronger economy, fairer society and opportunity for everyone b boxes. It’s an entirely liberal thing to give people the choice as to what is right for them and their family rather than have the state dictate it for you.

Today is the day that this policy, first passed at Liberal Democrat conference in 2009, becomes a reality. Jo Swinson, the Minister who took the legislation through Parliament, had this to say:

This is a momentous step forward for families and for parents in work. Shared parental leave can make an incredibly positive difference in a child’s life and help both mums and dads make the best decisions for them and their families.

Men and women will no longer be tied to what history dictates their traditional roles should be with mum holding the baby while dad goes out to work.  Parenting is a shared endeavour and now dads have the opportunity to spend more time with their new baby in those vital early weeks.

Shared parental leave is my proudest achievement in government, and I’m delighted that it is now a reality.

The Liberal Democrats are the driving force behind this change, and we’re pushing to go further in the next parliament. We want to champion the role of dads, and triple paternity leave, giving all fathers an extra month to spend with their child.

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LibLink: Jo Swinson: Shared parental leave will deliver the flexibility that couples want

We missed this when it was published last week but it’s no less relevant now. Shared parental leave becomes a reality in the next few months. Parents will be able to decide which of them takes the time off from their work to stay at home following the birth of a baby. Jo wrote about this for the New Statesman’s Staggers blog:

Under the new rules, mothers will still take at least two weeks of maternity leave immediately after birth, but after that working couples can share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay.

Research published by my department this week underlines the importance of shared parental leave in allowing parents to choose a pattern of leave that fits their own family situation. People are rejecting dated stereotypes about the roles of men and women. Parenting is a shared endeavour and many fathers understandably want to spend more time at home when they are adapting to the demands of a new baby. Shared parental leave will let couples choose how to share their childcare responsibilities in whatever way works best for them, and enable both parents to spend time developing that vital bond with their baby in the early stages.

Our survey found the majority of people believe that childcare should be the equal responsibility of both parents and less than a quarter of people believe that the mother should have main responsibility for childcare.

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LibLink: What Nick Clegg wrote on Mumsnet about shared parental leave – and he didn’t mince his words

Nick Clegg Glasgow 2014 by Liberal DemocratsLet’s bankrupt Britain’s businesses and, once we’re done, burn the buildings to the ground.

This is what you might have thought I’d said last week, if you saw some of the reaction to my plans to increase fathers’ rights when it comes to shared parental leave.

Nick Clegg was writing on Mumsnet at the weekend, dealing with some of the misleading and downright misogynistic claims made in the media about the scheme. As he made clear:

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In Full: Nick Clegg on tearing down the barriers facing women at work and the £23 billion boost if we get it right

Clegg Speech 40I have always said that if I had to pick one policy enacted by the Coalition that summed up our liberal values it would be the revolution that Nick Clegg and Jo Swinson have enacted on parental leave. From next year, parents will be able to choose how they split parental leave following a birth or adoption between them rather than the mother having to take it all. It’s the stronger economy, fairer society and enabling people to get on in life all in one.

Yesterday, Nick Clegg made a

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Jenny Willott writes… How Lib Dems are giving families choice through shared parental leave and flexible working

Parents and child - Some rights reserved by Ed YourtonAs a mother with two small children myself, I know how hard it can be to balance work and family life. And as a Lib Dem, I firmly believe in equal opportunities for all and tackling discrimination, whatever form it takes.

So I am really excited that with Lib Dems in Government, we are shaking up the status quo to make it easier for parents with young children to arrange their work/life balance however best suits them.

We need to challenge the old-fashioned …

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Opinion: Parental equality: a step, and only a step in the right direction

I heard the announcement by Nick Clegg regarding shared parental leave and I am pleased that the party is moving the arrangements into the 21st century and away from the 1950’s. I do though still have an internal sigh when I hear the debate only being framed as a “mummy and daddy” debate, when it is reported in the media.

Hearing this language personally annoys me, as it reinforces the view that a family is only correct if it is for one mother and one father. This is patent nonsense in the 21st century and causes subconscious bias towards parenting …

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Jo Swinson talks to Cosmopolitan about the gender pay gap and equality in the workplace

We’ve heard a lot from Nick Clegg and Jo Swinson over the past week on one great inequality in the workplace – the rules around leave after a baby is born. Thanks to the Liberal Democrats in government, parents will soon be able to share all but the first two weeks of a year of parental leave. For me, that policy sums up what we are about. It’s liberal, it’s about allowing people to make choices that are right for them and it does sing to both stronger economy and fairer society mantras.

However, that’s not the only issue of equality …

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Jo Swinson takes on Daily Mail’s Liz Jones, who thinks she shouldn’t be “procreating”

In the faux 1950s rose tinted world of the Daily Mail, lives a columnist called Liz Jones. Her job appears to be to offend as many people as possible on a weekly basis. she’s remarkably good at it.

Today, she’s cast her net particularly wide by writing a column about shared parental leave that is guaranteed to offend all women and any man who isn’t a sexist idiot. As a sub-plot, she’s also creating division between those in society who think that tea towels should be ironed (like former Liberal Democrat co-editor and regular contributor Mark Pack who admits to …

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Nick Clegg’s Letter from the Leader: Good news for Mums and Dads

“Liberal Democrats will allow parents to share the allocation of maternity and paternity leave between them in whatever way suits them best.” That’s what the party’s 2010 manifesto said would happen – and this week it actually did happen. Here’s what Nick Clegg had to say about the party’s policy success…

libdem letter from nick clegg

A short one this week: just to say a huge well done to all Liberal Democrats. We’ve finally landed our flagship policy on shared parental leave.

Help us share the news about our shared parental leave!

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Clegg: Shoving new mums aside is unfair and bad for the economy

From Monday’s Scotsman:

MOTHERS often feel “shoved aside” in the workplace because they have had children, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has warned.

He said the problem was “far too common” and was not only unfair but also bad for the economy.

The Liberal Democrat leader said there was a need to dramatically change working practices to adapt to the realities of modern family life.

Mr Clegg’s comments came as a survey showed three quarters of women who returned to work after having a child thought it made it harder to progress in their career.

He went on to say:

It is sadly still far

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Jo Swinson launches consultation on parental leave

One thing that would never have happened if the Liberal Democrats had not been in Government is the change towards shared parental leave. Yesterday on LBC’s Call Clegg, Nick Clegg talked about how the state should not dictate which parent took leave when a child was born. It should be up for parents to decide for themselves.

Earlier this week, Businesss Minister Jo Swinson launched a consultation on the Bill which is open for 12 weeks, until 20th May. She said:

Current workplace arrangements for maternity leave are old-fashioned and rigid. Our measures for shared parental leave and flexible working give us

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