Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers is due to
announce this morning that parents of under-fives are to be given an extension
to their unpaid leave from work.
Mothers and fathers have been forced to take their 13-week
entitlement in their child’s first 18 months of life but around 2.8 million parents
will benefit from the change allowing them to take time off at any time before
their child’s fifth birthday.
The unpaid leave can be taken in week-long blocks and odd
days, although longer periods away from work can be arranged with employers.
Mr Byers is also expected to announce help for parents of