Blair angers employers over paternity leave

Prime Minister Tony Blair yesterday angered employers when he pledged to introduce
paid paternity leave before the end of a consultative period on a parents’
working rights Green Paper.

Ruth Lea, head of employment policy at the Institute of Directors, said, “We spend a
lot of time responding during consultation periods but I am starting to wonder
what is the point.”

The consultation period on the Work and Parents: Competitiveness and Choice Green
Paper doesn’t end until 7 March.

The proposals were tabled in a Green Paper on parental rights last year and would
entitle working fathers to a fortnight off work on an allowance of £60.20 – the
same rate as statutory maternity pays.

The Government is still considering other proposals in the Green Paper, which
include introducing rights for mothers to work part-time after having children.

Blair was speaking at Labour’s spring conference in Glasgow.

Richard Staines

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