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Flexible Working: Parents

Volume 462: debated on Wednesday 11 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will review the adequacy of workplace rights for parents of children with cancer, with particular reference to rights to leave to care for their children. (148521)

I have been asked to reply.

The Government provide extensive rights to leave for parents, including 52 weeks' maternity leave before a child is one and 13 weeks' parental leave until a child is five. In addition, parents of children under six (or under 18 in the case of a disabled child) have the right to request flexible working arrangements, which could be helpful when caring for sick children.

In 1999, the Government also introduced Time Off for Dependents, which is a right allowing employees to take a reasonable amount of time off work to deal with unexpected emergencies, e.g. to care for a sick child, and to make any necessary longer-term arrangements for dealing with them.