#Civil Rights
David Cameron and the Coalition Government
United Kingdom

This is a petition to call for a system that represents the shared responsibilities, care and love involved in raising children. As it stands, most men do not qualify for statutory leave for when their child is born / adopted, and any statutory leave given can only amount to two weeks maximum.

This means that men are taken away from their newborns at a fundamental stage in their development as studies show that the first three months are crucial to a child’s character and interaction.

This also leaves women with the stigma attached to childcare in the workplace. Despite being illegal, it is estimated 30,000 women a year in the UK lose their jobs directly due to pregnancy and it is a well known fact that women of childbearing age (i.e. from puberty to the menopause) are discriminated in interviews for even the slightest possibility of becoming pregnant and therefore taking time off (even though the government reimburses employers for statutory maternity leave).

Introducing Parental Leave will relieve both women and men from their gender stereotypes and from making tough choices. In the case of Iceland, in 2004 Parental Leave was introduced where each parent received 3 months off work at 80% pay and then a further 3 months to divide accordingly. In Sweden, the allowance is 18 months at 80% pay (3 months reserved for the father). In both countries it is common to see fathers pushing prams and taking their children to day care leaving the UK living in the dark ages.

Equal Parental Leave also speaks volumes for economic recovery. For many households it makes sense for the mother to continue working as she may have a more financially viable job, yet as the father is not entitled to paid leave, it is he who must continue working. Financial recovery equates to productivity – and productivity is directly linked to employee morale. It is time politicians see that family is as the heart of our society and our involvement in the economy. Removing the stigma and endemic discrimination from women and childcare will keep their talents and skills within the economy – which will without a doubt, keep the economy healthy and recover faster.

But the main benefactor and most important aim of Parental Leave is the happiness and well being of the child. To have both parents present throughout the child’s first moments on the earth; to nurture the child, to teach the child, and to build a stable family environment for the child is what will make the child most happy and most healthy.

David Cameron and the Coalition Government forever talk to the British public about changing the structures of our society and economy to support and sustain a FAIRER Britain. This will not be achieved until the needs of the family unit as a whole are recognised by a structure that supports it. We advocate the introduction of gender neutral Parental Leave and the abolition of separate and distant maternal and paternal Leave.

We, the undersigned, call on David Cameron and the Coalition Government to introduce Parental Leave and abolish the current maternal and paternal leave structure.

We advocate a fairer Britain, in which gender stereotypes are a thing of the past and the future is a government which supports stable family structures, economic prosperity in recognising and eliminating gender inequality.

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The Equal Parental Leave in the UK petition to David Cameron and the Coalition Government was written by Emily Travis and is in the category Civil Rights at GoPetition.