The complexion and make up of British 21st century families is changing, embracing this change is at the heart of Liberal Democrat policy, a fact which Kelly-Marie has expressed her utmost support for this week.
As a party we’re introducing radical reforms to parental leave, bringing flexible working to grant mums and dads vital autonomy to balance the care of their children in the best way possible. By releasing parents from the shackles of rigid and out-dated workplace regulations they will be able to tailor childcare to their own specification, finding a model which best suits their lifestyle.
From April 2015, shared parental leave and pay will revolutionise family life as we know it, it will finally provide a contemporary backdrop to childcare for modern day families.
This policy effectively shatters the anachronistic picture of family life that current policy is still wedded to and builds a new relationship between policy and the actualities of hectic family life in the 21st-century.
Employers will acclimatise to fathers taking longer off after the birth a child and will welcome mothers retuning earlier. This policy will allow businesses to really make use of women’s talents throughout the organisation – from the boardroom to the shop floor.
This level of flexibility is a good thing for the economy and mums and dads alike. It allows working mothers the opportunity to return to work sooner without having to worry about childcare for the early months; it allows father greater involvement in the early stages of their child’s development and businesses will benefit from the continued input of working mothers opting to return to work sooner.
The government is also extending the right to request flexible working to all employees. By allowing everyone to work flexibly, we want to remove the cultural assumption that flexible working only benefits parents and carers, allowing everyone to better balance work with their personal life.
As well as being a boon to all concerned the universal legislation will drive down discrimination in the workplace of parents who opt for the flexible route.
Kelly-Marie has this week said the policy was a “fantastic boost” to 21st century families.
She commented: “We need to get t out of our heads that babies must be primarily cared for by their mothers in their first few months. For many families this just isn’t the right model for them, and if it isn’t right then it’s not right for the babies either.
“Flexibility grants parents the autonomy to devise the best care system for their family, as well as giving all employees a degree of flexibility to balance work and personal life.
“This legislation is clearly a giant leap n the right direction on the path to wedding social legislation of this kind to the ever-changing face of the British family.”