Last week Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath since 2017, called on Government to improve maternity rights for expectant mothers, and new parents everywhere following the introduction of the Maternity Allowances Bill to Parliament.
The Bill, which passed without amendment last Thursday, was introduced in order to allow Government ministers to take maternity leave without losing their roles. It was specifically introduced to Parliament following news that the Attorney General, Suella Braverman, intended to take maternity leave after the birth of her child. The Bill is the first of its kind – allowing ministers to take six months of maternity leave at full pay.
Bath’s MP voted in favour of the Bill but also claimed that the legislation “needed to go further”, and called on Government to revisit maternity legislation, which is simply not enough for too many families. She said:
“The pandemic has disproportionately affected women. Expectant and new mothers have been affected to an even greater extent.
This Bill must prompt a wider conversation about the rights of pregnant women and new parents in the workplace. And this conversation should cover not just Cabinet Ministers, but the millions of parents across the UK who are struggling with inadequate parental leave policies.
It is shocking that the Tory Government is only looking at this injustice now because a colleague in high places has run into difficulties with the unacceptable provision currently in place. It is also typical of this government that it brings in legal changes that narrowly protect a colleague rather than trying to do justice to everybody.”
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