New mothers could get six months of maternity leave under proposals going to the States next week.
The proposals have been put by Deputy Geoff Southern in an amendment to the States’ Strategic Plan – a document that lays out what politicians will do over the next three years.
Deputy Southern’s amendment would guarantee just over £5,000 for new mothers, spread out over 26 weeks.
He also wants to guarantee 30 hours of free nursery care, paid for by the States, instead of the current limit of 20.
In the UK, Statutory Maternity Pay laws guarantee six weeks of leave at 90% of annual weekly earnings, and another 33 weeks at either 90% of annual weekly earnings or £138, whichever is lower.
Deputy Southern says the proposals should be adopted as part of a commitment to the “1,001 Days” agenda which promises support to new mothers and young families to make sure that children get a proper start in life, through maternity leave and the provision of childcare.
“This amendment calls for us to do something about the ‘1,001 Days’ agenda,” he said.
“This says do something concrete about it – the reality is that unless something gets into the Strategic Plan then it will not happen.
“Social Security Minister Susie Pinel has already said that she wants to examine the possibility of extending maternity leave within the next three years. So, in principle, she’s in favour of improving and extending maternity provision – it’s just a question of how.”
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