MATERNITY SUPPORT LEAVE

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Conference
Lesbian,Gay,Bisexual & Transgender Conference 2005
Date
29 July 2005
Decision
Carried as Amended

Conference welcomes the provision for statutory paternity leave but notes with concern the low level of take up.

Conference considers this is explained by:

1.The level of statutory paternity pay, currently a maximum of £106.00 per week;

2.Limited eligibility – restricted to the baby’s father or the partner of a woman on maternity leave; and,

3.The confusing title – a lesbian partner may not realise she is entitled to “paternity leave”.

Conference therefore considers that:

A.The term “statutory maternity support leave” should replace “statutory paternity leave”;

B.Eligibility should extend to whoever the mother nominates to support her around the time of the birth; and,

C.Statutory Maternity Support Pay should be set at the level of the individual’s normal take-home pay.

Conference notes that various collective agreements already make provisions similar to A – C above, a collective bargaining achievement by UNISON following a lesbian-led campaign within the union. But here too there is anecdotal evidence of little awareness of the contractual entitlement and low take-up.

Conference therefore instructs the National LGBT Committee to raise with the National Executive Council the need to:

I.Mount a campaign for Statutory Maternity Support Leave and an adequate level of Statutory Maternity Support Pay; and,

II.Promote awareness among members of existing contractual entitlements to Maternity Support Leave and Pay and to negotiate improvements.