Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Stephen Ladyman MP celebrates extended maternity leave

Stephen Ladyman Press Release

Steve joined a young family to celebrate the success of Labour’s extension of paid maternity and paternity leave at an event in Parliament organised by shopworkers’ union, Usdaw.

Currently, eligible employed mothers can take 12 months maternity leave, with 39 weeks of this being paid. Fathers can take two weeks leave with paternity pay provided they have worked for the same employer for 6 months.

Stephen Ladyman said:

“Having children is a great experience but it can be stressful too. Giving dad some time off to help with the new arrival can make a real difference. Giving mum more maternity leave with pay means new arrivals are given the best possible start in life and family income is maintained. These changes, introduced by this Government but opposed by the other parties, are about giving families real help.”

Jamie Gull and his partner Jo have two children – Benjamin who is 5 and Alexander who is 6 months. Jamie and Jo really appreciated the time off with their new sons:

“Being able to take two weeks paid paternity leave when my son was born made a massive difference. I was able to spend important time at home with my new baby and my partner, Jo. As well as bonding with my son I also know Jo appreciated having me around so soon after his birth.

“Jo is currently on paid maternity leave with our second son, Alex. I know she is really enjoying the extra time at home with Alex. The first nine months are important ones in a child’s life. Jo has said she will feel less anxious about returning to work this time at the end of the paid maternity leave period as Alex will be that little bit older.”

Maria and Jeremy Luff had their first baby, Benjamin, in May 2007. Maria was able to take 9 months paid maternity leave.

“The extension of paid maternity leave gave me more time to spend with Benjamin. It meant that I could enjoy my time at home with him instead of worrying about going back to work too soon. Now that Benjamin is that much older, he is much happier now that I am back at work.

“Paid maternity leave was especially important to us as Jeremy was made redundant on the day that Benjamin was born. Fortunately he soon found another job but it was a very stressful time and the extra paid leave made a big difference to us as I know it will for thousands of other working mums.”

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