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The TUC has called for a complete overhaul of Shared Parental Leave.
Shared Parental Leave needs a complete overhaul and for it to be extended to all parents, regardless of employment status, according to the TUC.
The TUC says parents who are agency workers, on zero-hours contracts and those in self employment are currently excluded from SPL and it should be extended to them.
Citing very low take-up of SPL since it came into effect, it also calls for financial support for those accessing leave to be increased and for parents to be entitled to SPL from day one in their jobs [currently they have to be in a job for six months before they can access SPL].
The TUC also wants to see paternity leave being significantly strengthened so that parents other than the mother/adopter get the right to a longer period of leave following the birth of their child, to be used at any point in the year following the birth.
And it says these parents should be eligible for this leave in their own right. Currently, access to shared parental leave depends upon a mother giving up part of her maternity leave.
It adds that this new leave entitlement must not affect mothers’ existing entitlements to maternity leave and pay, must be accessible to all, available from day one and offer a level of financial support that doesn’t put off people looking to take advantage of it.