New parliamentary bills propose progressive policies on parenting
Lynne Miles // 17 May 2005
Nifty bit of alliteration there, eh?
The Queen\x92s Speech made at the state opening of parliament includes a number of bills aimed at families and finance.
The Parental Rights Bill would extend statutory paid maternity leave from six to nine months for mothers and, innovatively, allow mothers the right to transfer some of the leave to fathers. This is a massive step forward for equal parenting, as it offers real choices to families in how they choose to split the responsibility of caring for infants. The current right to two weeks\x92 statutory paid paternity leave was also passed under the Labour government.
Also proposed today was the Childcare Bill, which would place a new duty on Local Authorities to provide affordable and flexible childcare for under-14s.