Council votes to increase paternity leave

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North Lanarkshire Council has voted to allow its employees four weeks’ paternity leave so fathers can spend more time with their newborn children.

Partners of expectant mothers will be entitled to take one week of maternity support leave and a further three weeks of paternity leave at full pay.

The new policy acknowledges the joint responsibility for the care and upbringing of children and enables both parents to have a more active role in raising young children.

To qualify staff must have 26 weeks continuous service with the council at the start of the 14th week before the expected week of childbirth.

This period of leave must be taken within 56 days of the birth and cannot be broken into smaller periods.

The policy was unanimously backed by all parties at last week’s full council meeting following a motion from Coatbridge North councillor Alan Stubbs.

Although amendments from the Conservatives and Labour were incorporated into the motion, indicating that the new rules would be in effect by October.

Council leader Jim Logue said: “Our new workplace policy underlines how this council is a family-friendly and progressive employer.

“This is a positive step to support working partners, who want to spend time bringing up their young children and who would like to take a more equal share of childcare.

“It is vital that our council’s workplace policies reflect this and this change significantly enhances the current statutory requirement of two weeks’ paid leave.”