Sam Smethers Welcomes The Introduction of Grandparents’ Leave

Responding to the Chancellor, George Osborne’s announcement of transferable grandparental leave, Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society said:

“It is good news for families and for all those working grandparents who provide significant amounts of childcare to support working parents. Half of working mums rely on grandparents for childcare when they return to work after having a baby. Most of the beneficiaries of this change will be older women and we know that it’s older women and mothers who are the groups most likely to be absent from our labour market.

“Take up of Shared Parental Leave is predicted to be very low as dads cannot afford to take it. So the next step has to be to create a substantial dedicated period of leave for fathers paid at a rate that dads can afford to take, and which would really see women and men sharing care more equally.

“Secondly, we cannot assume grandparents will be there to provide the childcare working parents need. So we need a major investment in our formal childcare infrastructure, just as we would invest in our roads and railways. Parents need quality, affordable childcare services that they can rely on and the economy needs mums, dads and grandparents in work.”

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