Shareable childcare to become a reality

Family friendly law announced by Nick Clegg

Our #ELLEfeminism campaign, launched last month in our November issue, strives for equality – thus new measures, announced today, that will allow parents to share the traditional 50 weeks of parental leave after the birth of a child have been met with much glee in the ELLE office.

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, confirmed thesignificant reform will challenge the old-fashioned assumption that women always want to be the parent to take time off work to care for the child. Equalities minister Jo Swinson has joined us on our crusade, and with her first child on the way, is an avid supporter of sharable childcare – as her #iamawoman declaration above goes to show.

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It’s not just new mums who are keen for the motion to be put in place; more and more dads want to play a meaningful role in their child’s first year. So, from April 2015, the traditional 50 weeks of maternity leave (after the first fortnight for a new mother’s recovery) will be shareable between parents.

Finally, mums and dads can decide between themselves when to take 37 weeks’ paid leave, and 13 weeks unpaid leave.

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‘Women deserve the right to pursue their goals and not feel they have to choose between having a successful career or having a baby,’ says Clegg. ‘They should be supported by their employers, rather than being made to feel less employable or under pressure to take unchallenging jobs.’

The reforms also take into consideration the increased role of grandparents and other carers in looking after their grandchildren, meaning grandparents can apply for flexible working to help look after new additions.

Have you asked your male colleagues what they earn yet?

Missed the ELLE Feminism Debate? Read all about it here

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