FI calls on Cameron to pull back from small business parental leave exemptions

17 March 2011

The Fatherhood Institute is lobbying for the Government to pull back from plans to allow small businesses to flout maternity and paternity leave rules.

Under plans forming part of a ‘growth strategy’ for next week’s Budget, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is thought to be considering freeing up businesses with ten or fewer employees, to negotiate maternity and paternity leave deals directly with staff.

The FI has joined a coalition of charities, unions and other non-governmental organisations to object to the proposed change, which we believe will result in many new mothers and fathers missing out on maternity and paternity leave, in an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron (click on the link below to read the letter).

Letter to Prime Minister re. concern over maternity and paternity leave exemption proposals

FI chief executive Rob Williams said: ‘The Coalition Government told us it wants to make Britain the most family-friendly country in Europe. We already had a huge distance to travel before we reached that goal (as shown in our recent Families in Fairness Index, where the UK was placed 18 out of 21 developed countries) – this change would set us back even further.

‘A well-funded parental leave system is vital as a way of kick-starting parental involvement from both mums and dads – regardless of the size of the organisation for which one works. Some employers with fewer than 10 staff may need support to fulfil their obligations towards pregnant employees and new parents – but the answer to this is for the Government to ensure such companies receive useful guidance and hands-on support, not to exempt them from these vital regulations.’