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2007 Local Government Service Group Conference
23 February 2007

Conference welcomes the new rights for parents and carers to be introduced in the Work and Families Act, which will come into force in April 2007

It notes that parents and carers struggling to achieve work life balance will now be able to take advantage of the following improvements:

1.Statutory Maternity Pay, Maternity Allowance and Statutory Adoption Pay will increase to 39 weeks;

2.The removal of the length of service requirement for Additional Maternity Leave so that employees will be able to take up to one year off work;

3.Carers of disabled adults will have the right to request flexible working.

Conference further notes that the new legislation introduces new rights for employers and employees to keep in touch during maternity or adoption leave. Women will be able to go into work for up to 10 “Keeping in Touch” days without losing their Statutory Maternity Pay.

However, conference notes that their existing Local Government maternity provisions are in excess of the current statutory provision and believes that action should be taken to ensure that Local Government employers keep their “best practice” status in this field.

It therefore calls upon the Service Group Executive to seek to secure further improvements in maternity, maternity support, adoption and carers leave and payments, in excess of the statutory requirements, through the appropriate local government negotiating bodies.