Nick Clegg proposes extended parental leave for dads

Paternity leave could increase to 10 months as Government attempts to increase the flexibility of leave available to new parents

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Paternity leave could be extended to a possible 10 months, if Nick Clegg has his way. The Deputy PM is announcing proposals today that would enable dads to share more of a mum’s 52-weeks’ maternity leave and childcare in their child’s first year.

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Under the Coalition’s proposals, around 2015 a couple could divide their parental leave so the mum could return to work after six months and dad could take up the childcare responsibilities for the next six months, or a variation that suits them.

While mums would still get their six weeks’ leave with Statutory Maternity Pay, the remaining weeks a dad could take in addition to his current two weeks of paid paternity leave.

“More and more fathers want to play a hands-on role with their young children but too many feel that they can’t,” Nick will say in the announcement. “It’s madness that we are denying them that chance.

Though parenting groups have welcomed the news, the Federation of Small Businesses was quick to criticise, claiming their members would suffer most from the proposals.“Measures like these will make it more difficult for businesses to function and actually make it less likely that they will be able to employ additional staff,” said Andrew Cave from the Federation.

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We’d love to know what you think of the plans. Would your partner take more time off if he were able?

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