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Family Policies – TUC Reaction

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Welcoming the government’s green paper proposing new rights for working parents, TUC General Secretary, John Monks said:

“Working women everywhere will welcome the substantial increases in maternity pay and leave. It shows the government has been listening to Britain’s working parents. Many new mothers return to work earlier than is good for them or their baby because they do not have enough leave or cannot afford to stay home any longer. Now working mothers will be able to spend more time at home in the all important early months.

“Working parents need to be able to work flexibly if they are to juggle the needs of work and their children and stay sane, and we welcome the government’s proposals to give new parents ways of reducing their hours.

“We applaud the proposal to give new fathers paid paternity leave. Good employers already give new dads time off, now even the meanest should be forced to do the same.

“Employer organisations are no doubt already preparing their campaign against these welcome reforms, attacking them as red tape and burdens on business. Yet Britain’s good employers already provide benefits in excess of those suggested today. There must come a time when good employers realise their corporate image is being hurt by their association with organisations who campaign against what enlightened companies already willingly do. These are policies which are widely supported by their staff and customers alike.

“The predictably strident tone taken by employer organisations against sensible reforms that will both help businesses retain staff and transform the lives of working parents is very disappointing. Unions stand ready to play their part in the campaign to see these proposals become law.

“While we are disappointed not to see more progress on paid parental leave, there is no doubt that today’s green paper is a substantial advance for working parents.”

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