Lib Dems to boost statutory pay for new parents

Katy Morton
Thursday, June 6, 2024

Statutory maternity pay would be nearly doubled to £350 a week under a Liberal Democrat Government.

The Liberal Democrats are proposing to increase statutory paternity and maternity pay, PHOTO: Adobe Stock
The Liberal Democrats are proposing to increase statutory paternity and maternity pay, PHOTO: Adobe Stock

The Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey has announced his party’s manifesto will include plans to increase statutory maternity pay from £184.03 to £350 a week.

They will also introduce a ‘use-it-lose-it dad month’ of paid leave for new fathers, while paternity pay would increase to 90 per cent of earnings.

The party argues this would increase choice for families and help more new fathers take time off work to spend time with their child in those crucial first weeks and months, in turn helping Mums to stay in their chosen careers.

Liberal Democrats would also make paid parental leave a day-one-right at work, rather than the current 26 week period which means those in new jobs don't qualify, and extend them to self-employed parents.

The party says its £2.4 billion investment in parental leave would be paid for by a clamp down on tax avoidance and evasion.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said, ‘Millions of parents are being denied the choice to spend more time at home during that all-important first year with their child, because the UK still lags behind other countries on shared parental leave.

‘Many mothers and fathers are being forced back to work early because they simply can’t afford to take more time off. 

‘The Liberal Democrats’ proposals would give new parents the choice and flexibility they need, backed up by a package of proper support. We would boost statutory pay for new parents, alongside a new ‘dad month’ to help more fathers take time off work to be with their new baby during that first year, giving mums a better career boost.’

The party previously announced it would offer free schools meals to all primary school pupils if it wins the General Election next month.

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