Earnings: Mothers and Fathers Debate

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Department: Department for Education
Wednesday 13th March 2024

(3 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Barran Portrait Baroness Barran (Con)
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I say two things to the right reverend Prelate. First, statutory leave and pay is only part of the state support available to new families in the first year of their child’s life. The Government also have provisions in place such as tax credits, child benefit and universal credit. We continue to believe that arrangements for paternity leave and pay are best left to employers. I appreciate that this is somewhat old research, from 2016, but it found that fathers who work full-time experience a wage bonus, earning 22% more than similar men without children who are working full-time.

Baroness Altmann Portrait Baroness Altmann (Con)
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My Lords, it is commendable that the Government have done something to improve pension outcomes for women, who are particularly disadvantaged given that they automatically have lower lifetime earnings, due to caring roles, but is there anything further that the Government might be able to do? Perhaps there could be some kind of review of the overall lifetime earnings patterns of women who have to care both for children and older relatives in other stages of their life so that the disadvantage might be remedied in some way, either by contributions from a partner, which are currently not encouraged, or by some other mechanism.

Baroness Barran Portrait Baroness Barran (Con)
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I very much welcome my noble friend’s suggestion in this regard, and I share her belief that greater transparency and more data to help understand the issues are really helpful. I will take her suggestions back to the department.