Government pledges to overhaul ‘Edwardian’ childcare rules
Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has announced the government is planning to overhaul ‘Edwardian’ childcare routes to grant fathers up to ten months off work following the birth of a child.
The new rules would entitle fathers to be offered additional blocks of leave which is not transferable to their wives or partners in a bid to give them more quality time with their new children.
In addition to this, the Labour government had previously drawn up plans allowing fathers to take up any remaining maternity leave if mothers opt to go back early, and Mr Clegg has confirmed that the coalition is continuing to move forward with these plans.
Prime Minister David Cameron has also expressed an interest in taking this even further by allowing fathers to take a number of chunks as opposed to a single block, or by allowing mothers and fathers to take time off together instead of separately.
In a speech Clegg spoke passionately about how he felt the current rules not only patronise women who want to work and provide for their families, but they also put pressure on new mothers who are expected to take on the bulk of the childcare. In addition, they deprive children of quality time essential to their development with their fathers and they are unfair to new dads who want to play a more hands on role with their young children.
Though these changes would not been introduced before 2015, the coalition is determined to overhaul the current rules about paternity leave.