Lynne Featherstone MP welcomes reform to shared parental leave and flexible working

Lynne Featherstone MP today welcomed Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg’s announcement of reforms to parental leave, allowing both parents to share up to a year’s leave to look after their new-born children.

The changes will deliver a long held Liberal Democrat commitment to make parental leave more flexible. They will allow fathers to play a greater role in raising their child, help mothers to return to work at a time that’s right for them and also create more flexible workplaces to boost the economy.

New proposals are also announced today extending the right to request flexible working to all employees, which will give greater choice and freedom to workers and businesses.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone said:

“Liberal Democrats have long supported more flexible working and parental leave and I’m incredibly proud that the Coalition Government has delivered these revolutionary reforms.

“Shared parental leave is about fairness for women in the workplace and equality for men and women as they plan their families and careers.

“It will signal one of the greatest advances for equality in recent years as gradually employers will get used to more men taking time off after their child is born, and more women returning to work, removing that often unspoken consideration that an employer has: if I hire this woman, or if I promote her, will she leave to have a child?

“It will also help employers to attract and retain women in their organisations and prevent women dropping out of the workforce once they start a family.”