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Parental Leave: Low Incomes

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate his Department has made of the length of (a) paternity leave and (b) maternity leave taken by people from low-income families in the last period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. (148696)

The most recent data available on take-up of maternity and paternity leave is from the Maternity and Paternity Rights and Benefits: Survey of Parents 2005. The report of findings is available at the House of Commons Library and at www.berr.gov.uk/files/file27446.pdf. Statistics in this report are based on responses from a sample of mothers and fathers who had a child in December 2003 who were surveyed approximately 17 months after the child’s birth.

Estimates of duration of paternity leave and maternity leave have not been analysed for low-income families.

Duration of paternity leave has been analysed by fathers’ income. The following table, an excerpt of table 9.1 in the cited report, shows duration of paternity leave split by fathers’ income (figures are percentages).

Income (£/month)

No paternity leave

Less than two weeks

Two weeks

More than two weeks

0 to 999

34

27

28

11

1,000 to 1,999

16

32

37

15

2,000 to 2,999

22

37

31

11

3,000 +

21

35

36

9

Duration of maternity leave has been analysed by mothers’ income. Table 3.1a of the cited report, shows duration of maternity leave, paid and unpaid, split by hourly pay band. Analysis of this data is presented on pages 28 to 29 of the cited report.

Income (£/hour)

Less than 26 weeks maternity leave

26 weeks maternity leave

27 to 51 weeks maternity leave

52 weeks + maternity leave

O to five

14

64

11

10

Six to eight

10

57

18

14

Nine to 11

12

42

24

21

12 to 14

14

33

35

17

15 to 19

17

32

32

19

20 +

19

30

30

21