Union boss calls for paid time off for carers

The
right to take parental leave and time-off to care for dependants is
"meaningless" for many low-paid workers, because they don’t get any
money for it, trade union Usdaw said yesterday.

Speaking
at the TUC conference, Usdaw
general secretary John Hannett
said workers should be given the right to take paid parental leave, and that
maternity pay should be offered for 52 weeks rather than the current 26 weeks.

"The
statutory right to unpaid parental leave doesn’t mean much for low-paid,
predominantly women workers,” he said. “It’s not because parents don’t know
about it – they just can’t afford to take it.”

Hannett said that nationally, the
take-up for parental leave and time-off to care for dependants was only 3 per
cent.

“It
is a vital right that’s got to get off the paper it’s written on and into
people’s lives for real,” he said.

By Michael Millar

 

 

 

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