Nick Clegg has announced that from 2015, more flexible parental leave will be introduced, and should be available to all employees. The idea is that people can adopt different work patterns shake up the current system.
Under the new rules, a mother will be able to take leave at any time, and her partner can complete whatever time is left on her original year off. Clegg described current rules as being ‘clapped out’ and said the new ones will give women a ‘real choice’.
He said under the new rules, ‘You won't get to 30 and suddenly have to choose - motherhood or work - because we're making the changes that will give you a route back.
‘That means women up and down the country realising their potential, keeping their independence, fulfilling their dreams. It means children up and down the country benefiting from having their fathers in their lives.’ Nice rhetoric.
Clegg did try to get paternity leave increased from the current two weeks, but he was effectively slapped down by opposition in government and also business groups which are concerned about the cost of such a policy.