Submission from the Parliamentary Labour
Party (SC 105)
The PLP (Parliamentary Labour Party) does not
hold formal policy in this area as such, however every effort
is made to accommodate the individual needs of the Member concerned.
In part this is due to the unique employment status of a Member
With regards to authorised absence from the
Government Whip on maternity, paternity or other caring leavethis
is agreed with individual members. These are informal, flexible
agreements that suit the needs of the individual Member. It is
evident that these arrangements work in the feedback that we have
received from Members.
Authorised absence from Parliament is agreed
with the Member's Government Whip and the Government Pairing Whip.
The Parliamentary Labour Party does not provide
any specific additional support or assistance over and above that
which is available to all Members. This support continues for
any member on maternity, parental or caring leave during their
There is no difference between Members and Ministers
in terms of agreed authorised absence for maternity, parental
or caring leave or the support offered by the Parliamentary Labour
As you know, as a Party we are extremely proud
of our record in this area. Labour extended paid maternity leave
to 39 weeks, which has now been increased to £123.06 a week.
New mothers now have the right to nine months paid maternity leave
and up to a year in total. We have extended parental leave so
that fathers have a right to paid paternity leave for the first
time. New fathers now have the right to two weeks paid time off
when their baby is born. Labour also introduced the right to request
flexible working for parents of disabled children, and has extended
this to cover carers of adults.
We introduced the rights for parents of young
children to request flexible working from their employerand
from April 2009 we extended this to parents of all children to
16 benefiting around 4.5 million parents. In addition, all parents
and carers now have the right to time off to deal with unexpected
problems for their dependants such as family illness.
PLP Secretary and Labour Party Director of Political