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Extension of paid maternity leave due to covid-19

Volume 678: debated on Tuesday 21 July 2020

Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the lives of many in our country, not least mothers on maternity leave. They have been unable to avail themselves of normal health visitor support or support from their wider family. Their babies have often been left in situations of social isolation and their mothers have not benefited from wider family support. Nor have babies been able to bond with loved ones, relatives and the wider community. Members will know that a petition was signed by 233,000 people within this country, and hundreds of people have been in contact with me since I registered my support for this campaign. So it is an enormous privilege, on behalf of mothers and many throughout this country who understand the impact of coronavirus on maternity leave, that I present this petition.

The petition states:

The petition of residents of the constituency of Belfast East,

Declares that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on and has led to increased cases of social isolation, and that new mothers on maternity leave have been particularly affected.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to extend paid maternity leave by three months.