Tag Archives: paternity leave

So much for Boris Johnson’s big return to work – now he’s off on paternity leave!

Making a poor fist of it: Johnson was all blood-and-thunder when he returned to work on Monday – waving his fist at the cameras. He should have been waving goodbye.

What a lot of fuss over nothing!

Remember when Boris Johnson announced he was finally coming back to work, after an extended period of recuperation from Covid-19, first in hospital and then at Chequers?

The rejoicing from certain Tory quarters was sickening.

“Boris is back!” they exclaimed! “He’ll get a grip on the coronavirus in no time!”

Well, no time is all he had because now he is off on paternity leave after Carrie Symonds gave birth to a boy.

Some might consider it churlish to criticise Johnson’s decision to take even more time off when the country is in the middle of its worst crisis in decades.

Doing the maths, we can see that conceiving the new arrival is what he did to celebrate his election as Tory leader (and default prime minister) back in July last year.

And if I can do the maths, so can he.

He would have known that the baby would be due around now.

I wonder whether he timed his return to work with it in mind, reasoning that he could pretend to be busy for a few days, a week or so, and then baby would come and he’d have a reasonable excuse to go back on holiday.

And how many breaks has he had, since becoming prime minister? Is he trying to take the record for the least amount of work done in the role?

Some might say it is churlish to criticise Johnson’s decision to take even more time off.

I say it is irresponsible of Johnson to abandon his responsibilities yet again.

We will remember him as the prime minister who created a catastrophe, waved his fist at it, and then ran away.

I am reminded of an old comment about people who make such a fuss and palaver about being in charge that nobody realises they aren’t.

And in the shadows – who?

Who is pulling the strings of power while Johnson is off playing mummies and daddies?

Source: Boris Johnson will not take part in PMQs after birth of son with Dominic Raab expected to face Sir Keir Starmer | London Evening Standard

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Positive story of the day: Labour to double paid paternity leave to four weeks

150210paternity

Here’s a story that might have been buried in the hubbub over HSBC. It could be a huge vote-winner for Labour, so let’s give it another chance. The BBC reported:

A future Labour government would double the amount of paid paternity leave available to new fathers from two to four weeks, Ed Miliband has announced.

The Labour leader has also pledged to increase statutory paternity pay by more than £120 a week to £260 a week, paid for by savings in tax credits.

Since 2003, new fathers have been entitled to two weeks’ paid leave if they meet certain criteria, such as having worked for their employer for a defined length of time.

But Labour says only about 55% of new fathers take the full two weeks off because of financial pressures forcing them to return to work.

Ed Miliband said current entitlements are “outdated” and giving fathers an “independent right” to a month off to care for their children would help 400,000 families give their children the “best start in life they can”.

The Labour leader has pledged to substantially increase rates of statutory pay, currently set at £138.18 per week or 90% of average weekly earnings, whichever is less.

Under Labour, the amount fathers would receive would rise to at least £260 a week, the equivalent of a forty-hour week on the minimum wage.

“At the same time as women are under pressure in their careers, more fathers want to play a hands-on role in childcare, particularly in those first crucial weeks of a child’s life,” Mr Miliband will say in a speech on Monday.

“Thanks to the last Labour government, fathers have two weeks’ paid paternity leave. Millions of families have benefited with parents saying this has helped them support each other, share caring responsibilities and bond with their children.

“But the money isn’t great and too many Dads don’t take up their rights because they feel they have to go back so they can provide for their family.”

Some business leaders have said the £150m move amounts to a business “tax”.

A new system of shared parental leave championed by the Liberal Democrats comes into force in April.

The Lib Dems are also proposing, in future, a month’s worth of paternity leave after a child’s birth on a “use it or lose it” basis.

The Conservatives have supported greater flexibility in parental leave, arguing that all future spending policies need to pass a “families test”.

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