Earnings: Mothers and Fathers Debate

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Department: Department for Education

Earnings: Mothers and Fathers

Lord Bishop of Leicester Excerpts
Wednesday 13th March 2024

(4 months, 1 week ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Bishop of Leicester Portrait The Lord Bishop of Leicester
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My Lords, the same report from Pregnant Then Screwed also found that a significant proportion of new fathers and secondary parents simply cannot afford to take their full paternity leave because of the low level of statutory paternity pay. Most other European countries have far more generous paternity leave entitlements than the UK’s, in both length and pay, which bring benefits for family bonds and support gender equality. Will the Government commit to increasing the statutory leave entitlement so that families in the UK can also reap these benefits?

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.