Is a Bill enabling Ministers and Opposition office holders to take maternity leave unfair and already out of date?


On 4 February, the government introduced the Ministerial and other Maternity Allowances Bill 2019-21 into the House of Commons.  As things stand, it will benefit Ministers only.  Further, it does not provide for wider family-friendly rights, to include those available to men. 

There is warranted criticism that the Bill is being rushed through without proper consideration so as to benefit the Attorney General who is due to give birth shortly (it will allow her to keep her position and take 6 months' leave on full pay, rather than having to resign in order to take any period of leave).

This development does also beg the question as to where IPSA has got with any statutory consultation on #equality in Parliament and #familyfriendlyrights.

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“The introduction of cover for ministers is long overdue, and this legislation reveals the lie I was told when I asked for maternity cover that MPs’ employment status made it impossible. Two years on, the situation has not changed, and other MPs who have tried to get cover have been let down." [Stella Creasy]
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