In order to give all children the best start possible and to reduce stress on parents, paid parental leave needs to be extended in coverage and longevity. Despite the majority of Parliament voting to increase Paid Parental Leave to 26 weeks the Government vetoed the change in 2016.
- Extend Paid Parental Leave from 18 weeks to 26 weeks.
Labour will pass the legislation to implement this within our first 100 days in Office. The policy will be phased in over three years: 22 weeks from 2018 and 26 weeks in 2020.
Getting to 26 weeks is an important goal. As well as the direct financial benefits to households, extending paid parental leave has a range of positive impacts in terms of child development and fostering parent-infant attachment. Extending Paid Parental Leave to twenty-six weeks (six months) would also align its duration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding up to six months of age.