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Maternity Leave

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many and what proportion of new mothers went on maternity leave in each year since 1997. (260239)

Information on the take-up of maternity leave in each year is not available.

A new mother must take a minimum of two weeks’ leave after the birth of her child. The most recent estimates of take-up of maternity leave are based on the maternity rights and mothers’ employment decisions in Britain: Survey of Mothers, conducted in 2007. All the mothers surveyed took some time off following childbirth. The survey found 88 per cent. of new mothers took all their entitlement to paid statutory maternity leave.

The survey is available in the House Libraries and at:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/rrs-index.asp