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Beyond the Nuclear: Who's bringing up baby?

Date:22 JUL 2012

Duncan RantonThe Government announced in the Queen's Speech in May its plan to reform parenting leave. It described current rules on maternity and paternity leave as "outdated" given the assumption underlying them that mothers would undertake most childcare responsibilities.

To address this rather obsolete view of family life and better meet the needs of modern parents the Government is proposing a new flexible parental leave arrangement. Details are still vague about how this system will work practically but options might include allowing mothers to return to work and transfer up to nine months of a year's parental leave to fathers.

The proposals have incited the inevitable response from some business leaders namely that to accommodate modern families' needs in this way will more or less bring about the downfall of capitalism. The Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce warned companies would face "endless" legal challenges and grievances resulting from "gender-neutral" parental leave. The Institute of Directors' response is more grounded...

Read the full article here.