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Parental Leave

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 3646, tabled on 17 May 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the length of (a) Statutory Maternity Leave and (b) Statutory Paternity Leave.

Answered on

25 May 2022

The UK’s Maternity Leave entitlement is one of the most generous in the world, with employed women entitled to 52 weeks of maternity leave, of which 39 are paid.

Our Paternity Leave entitlement enables eligible employed fathers to take two weeks of paid leave within the first eight weeks following the birth or adoption placement. Eligible employed fathers also have other entitlements to balance work with childcare, including paid annual leave, unpaid parental leave and the right to request flexible working.

Shared Parental Leave allows eligible parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay in the first year.

In 2019, the Government consulted on high-level options for reforming parental leave and pay. We are currently considering responses to the consultation and will respond in due course.