Theresa May while launching a consultation on parental leave, said that it is “not fair and not right” that some parents have to return to work before their newborn leaves the hospital. The government has decided that new parents in Britain would be granted one week of state-funded leaves and will be paid for every week their baby is in hospital.
The decision has been taken so that parents can spend more time at home with their newborns. Near about 100,000 babies are taken to neonatal care after their birth every year. The consultation will also be seeking views on how parental leave can be revised to “better reflect our modern society”.
Mrs. May said that she wanted to provide more support to parents dealing with “the unimaginable stress” of their babies being taken into neonatal care. Mrs. May will be resigning as prime minister next week. “Parents have more than enough on their plates without worrying about their parental leave running out and having to return to work before their precious newborn comes home,” she said.
“That’s not fair and it’s not right. So we’re also proposing a new neonatal leave and pay entitlement to make this time a bit easier for parents whose babies need to spend a prolonged period in neonatal care,” she further claimed.
Mrs. May also said that parenting has changed over the past 40 years, “but too often, it is still mothers, not fathers, who shoulder the burden of childcare”.
She claimed, “It is clear that we need to do more and that’s why today we have launched a consultation calling for views on how we can improve the current system.” UK’s maternity leave provision is above average among leading economies but its paternity leave is six weeks shorter than the average. Women and Equalities Minister Penny Mordaunt said: “Fathers should not have to rely on annual and unpaid leave if they want to be involved in the first months of their child’s life.”