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Parental Leave

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 15 April 2003

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To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many staff in the Department have used their leave entitlement under the Parental Leave Directive since it came into force. [108415]

All staff in my Department are eligible for unpaid parental leave under the Parental Leave Directive. Responsibility for authorisation and monitoring of parental leave has been devolved to line managers and could only be collated at a disproportionate cost.My Department currently has a number of policies and practices, including statutory entitlement to parental leave, designed to help staff to find a balance between their working life and family responsibilities. These include a range of flexible working options, paid special leave, career breaks and the provision of a staff network for carers.

The benefits to my Department of family friendly measures include improved staff morale and performance through a better work/life balance, retention of experienced staff by offering flexible work options, improved planning of staff absences and scope to attract a diverse workforce.