Proposals to create a system of shared parental leave have been bogged down in wrangling between ministers over a radical plan to grant a £5,500 “baby bonus” to parents on the birth of the child.
The plan was put forward by Oliver Letwin and would replace statutory maternity pay; the idea is that it would increase individual choice and remove a bureaucratic cost from employers. But it has not yet been implemented because of fears that it could end up costing more; given that many mothers don’t take their full 39 weeks of paid leave.
The full story is here on ft.com. It comes as the government presses ahead in today’s Queen’s Speech with plans for flexible parental leave – despite these having not yet been finalised.
Other family-friendly measures in the legislative programme for next year include helping children with special educational needs, fast-tracking the adoption of ethnic minority children and speeding up care proceedings.