Paternity was introduced under the last Labour government. Labour’s current proposals look to strengthen this original policy.
we will do this by using the money families save on tax credits (savings made from the extension of free childcare from 15 to 25 hours a week) to:
Double the amount of time fathers get for paid paternity leave from two to four weeks
Raise paternity pay to at least £260 a week (amounting to the minimum wage).
Ed explains the reasoning behind this policy announcement:
“The modern British family needs government to be more flexible in what it does to help. Parents work long and stressful hours, at different times of the day, and it is increasingly tough to balance this with giving our kids the best start in life they can get.
“At the same time as women are under pressure in their careers, more fathers want to play a hands-on role in childcare particularly in those first crucial weeks of a child’s life but are frustrated by out-dated laws and entitlements.
“The Tories want to spend £700m on what they call a married couple’s allowance but which in fact will go to just one in five families with children.
“Instead, at the heart of Labour’s plan, is the belief that Britain succeeds when modern working families succeed.
“That means giving Dads, as well as Mums, the chance to spend more time at home in the those crucial weeks after babies have been born.
“Thanks to the last Labour government, fathers have two weeks paid paternity leave. Millions of families have benefitted with parents saying this has helped them support each other, share caring responsibilities and bond with their children. But the money isn’t great – and too many Dads don’t take up their rights because they feel they have to go back to work so they can provide for their family.
“So today we are announcing plans to double paid paternity leave and ensure the money available is as good as the National Minimum Wage.
“And when children get a little older, we want to help meet demand for childcare by tackling the crazy situation of Sure Start Children’s Centres lying half-empty under this government. We’re going put the lights back on, bring the kids back in and save the Sure Start programme for the next generation.
“This measures, along with the extension of free childcare and the guarantee of wrap around care through primary schools, are key parts of our plan for a better future for families.
“We want to build a Britain where prosperity reaches the kitchen table by tackling the cost of living crisis.
“We want to build a Britain where young people get the chance to get on– not a Britain which works only for a few.
“And we have a plan to help modern British families succeed so that Britain can succeed and, together, we can build a better future.”