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Maternity Leave: Paternity Leave

Volume 461: debated on Friday 15 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent estimate he has made of the take-up rates of (a) paid maternity leave, (b) unpaid maternity leave, (c) paid paternity leave and (d) unpaid paternity leave in the latest period for which figures are available. (136543)

[holding answer 9 May 2007]: The most recent estimates are based on the Maternity and Paternity rights and benefits in Britain: Survey of Parents, conducted in 2005. The survey is based on a random sample of mothers who had a baby in December 2003 and their partners. Of mothers in paid work, all took at least some of their entitlement to maternity leave, and 98 per cent. received some form of maternity pay; approximately 2 per cent. of mothers in paid work did not receive maternity pay.

Of fathers in paid work, 93 per cent. said they had taken some leave around the time of the birth. Of these, around 80 per cent. said they had used at least some of their statutory paid paternity leave entitlement which was brought in 2003. The remainder took other forms of leave. No estimate has been made of the take-up of unpaid paternity, although almost all fathers who qualify for paternity leave will also qualify for Statutory Paternity leave.

The report findings from this survey is available in the Members’ library, on the DTI website at http;// and from the DTI Publications Order-line 08701 502500, quoting URN 06/836.