'More support needed for grandparent carers'
More support needs to be given to grandparents who are increasingly looking after children, says Labour MP Tessa Jowell.
Launching a review of Labour's policy on supporting the modern family, Jowell said 35% of grandparents who look after their grandchildren are in work. She said relieving the burden on them could in turn help parents. She cited the situation in Germany where grandparents could take up to 10 days' paid leave for emergency childcare and in Portugal where they could take 30 days' paid leave a year if a child was sick and parents couldn't look after them.
She also praised companies like Asda which give grandparents up to five days' unpaid leave when their grandchild is born and for a child's first day at school. They can also apply for up to 12 weeks of extended leave which can be used, for instance, to help out in the school holidays.
Other proposals she put forward include policies for making dads feel more included in childcare issues and involving the community in general issues around childrearing, which she called "communityship".
Read the full Britain Thinks report.