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06 May 2008

Leave and pay for working parents - a guide for union reps

Over the last 10 years, the government has introduced a wide range of measures aimed at helping working parents and carers balance their employment with family and caring responsibilities. Most recently, the Work and Families Act 2006, which came into force in April 2007, introduced further improvements to the rights of working mothers and extended the right to request flexible working to carers of adults.

The introduction of new rights provides union representatives with the opportunity to raise the issues in negotiations and try to improve upon the existing provision. The new Labour Research Department booklet Leave and pay for working parents - a guide for union reps updates the new legal rights for parents and provides examples of negotiated workplace agreements to assist reps in bargaining improvements. There are specific chapters covering maternity rights, paternity leave, adoption leave, parental leave, time off for dependants, flexible working and career breaks.

Also covered are leave issues relating to fertility treatment and surrogacy, time off for antenatal and adoption appointments and breastfeeding, as well as rights to time off for family emergencies.

Workplace examples and case studies of best practice are used throughout the booklet which also includes a negotiating checklist for each chapter.

Notes to editors:

  • Leave and pay for working parents - a guide for union reps is published by the Labour Research Department, 78 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HF, price ?5.30. LRD booklets are also available on subscription at an annual cost of ?37.25 (?29.25 for affiliates). LRD publishes 10-11 booklets each year.

  • The Labour Research Department is an independent trade union and labour movement organisation founded 96 years ago. Around 2,000 trade union organisations are affiliated, representing more than 99% of total TUC membership.

  • For press enquiries about this booklet contact Stephanie Peck, tel: 020 7902 9825, email: speck@lrd.org.uk.

  • To order copies of the booklet tel: 020 7928 3649 or order online at www.lrd.org.uk where full information about all of LRD's services and publications is available.

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