Extend maternity leave by 3 months with pay in light of COVID-19

In light of the recent outbreak and lock down, those on maternity leave should be given 3 extra months paid leave, at least. This time is for bonding and social engaging with other parents and babies through baby groups which are vital for development and now everything has been cancelled.

This petition closed on 20 Oct 2020 with 238,884 signatures


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Recent Documents related to Extend maternity leave by 3 months with pay in light of COVID-19

1. Good Work Plan: Proposals to support families
19/07/2019 - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
- View source

Found: nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open -government -licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National

2. Best Beginnings - written evidence
09/10/2018 - Inquiry: First 1000 days of life - Health and Social Care Committee
- View source

Found: initiatives through to implementing digital support in maternity pathways across the Country, that have seen a

3. British Psychological Society - written evidence
19/03/2019 - Inquiry: First 1000 days of life - Health and Social Care Committee
- View source

Found: disseminating evidence-based expertise and advice, engaging with policy and decision makers, and promoting

4. Baby Loss Awareness Week
08/10/2018 - Commons Research

Found: DEBATE PACK Number CDP 2018/0213, 8 October 2018 Baby Loss Awareness Week By Sarah Barber Nikki Sutherland

5. Manchester Health and Care Commissioning - written evidence
09/10/2018 - Inquiry: First 1000 days of life - Health and Social Care Committee
- View source

Found: Manchester Health and Care Commissioning The Health and Social Care Committee launches an inquiry into the early

Latest Documents
Recent Speeches related to Extend maternity leave by 3 months with pay in light of COVID-19

1. Covid-19: Maternity and Parental Leave
05/10/2020 - Westminster Hall

1: support the new call list system and to ensure that social distancing can be respected. As I look around, - Speech Link
2: 306691 relating to the impact of Covid-19 on maternity and parental leave.It is an honour to serve - Speech Link

2. Baby Loss: Covid-19
05/11/2020 - Westminster Hall

1: considered the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on people experiencing baby loss.It is a pleasure - Speech Link
2: has marked Baby Loss Awareness Week—as with many things, covid-19 caused some delay, as Baby Loss Awareness - Speech Link
3: all do. We understand how important it is for parents to come through this terrible time. We have had - Speech Link
4: is a decision that the mother must make, as the baby still belongs to her body. I could have chosen not - Speech Link

3. Oral Answers to Questions
23/06/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: the whole of England as soon as possible. Due to covid-19, the 21 cancer alliances in England have established - Speech Link
2: we are achieving that throughout the system. Covid-19 has upended all our lives, and some decisions - Speech Link
3: network of 25 charities published plans for restoring vital cancer services. I wrote to the Minister on 17 April - Speech Link
4: important to note that reduced referrals due to covid-19 are likely to be the cause of that, and there - Speech Link
5: the inevitable increase in waiting times for non-covid treatments, back in March the Government contracted - Speech Link

4. Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Departmental Spending
07/07/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: of Covid-19 on maternity and parental leave, HC 526 e-petition 306691, entitled Extend maternity leave - Speech Link
2: contribute. Before I begin my substantive remarks, I pay particular tribute to the right hon. Member for Tunbridge - Speech Link
3: following the roll-out of bounce-back loans. It will be vital for my Committee and the House to understand the - Speech Link

5. Parental Leave for Parents of Premature Babies
13/11/2018 - Westminster Hall

1: this House has considered parental leave for parents of premature babies.It is a pleasure to serve - Speech Link
2: Northern Ireland, six small babies have been born prematurely to parents who were not expecting to see - Speech Link

6. Ministerial and other Maternal Allowances Bill
11/02/2021 - Commons Chamber

1: exceptional circumstances, in order to comply with social distancing requirements, I will remain in the Speaker’s - Speech Link
2:  line 5, leave out “may” and insert “must”.The intention of this amendment is to make paid maternity - Speech Link
3: page 1, line 5, leave out “a person as”.Amendment 16, in page 1, line 14, leave out “person” and - Speech Link

7. Oral Answers to Questions
17/11/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: the tremendous progress he has made over recent months on increasing our testing capacity, including the - Speech Link
2: testing system. The logistics around it are also vital. We are already funding local authorities across - Speech Link
3: learned that 139,000 people are waiting beyond 12 months for treatment. We now know that 252,000 people - Speech Link
4: my hon. Friend’s constituents will benefit from £3 million to increase capacity at Russells Hall Hospital - Speech Link
5: the British Medical Association to the Health and Social Care Committee this morning was stark. So does - Speech Link

8. Support for Children and Families: Covid-19
20/10/2020 - Westminster Hall

1: support for children and families during the covid-19 outbreak.It is a pleasure to serve under your - Speech Link

9. Early Years Family Support
16/07/2019 - Commons Chamber

1: Northamptonshire, the Thirteenth Report of the Health and Social Care Select Committee, HC 1496, on First 1000 days - Speech Link
2: Northamptonshire, the Thirteenth Report of the Health and Social Care Select Committee, HC 1496, on First 1000 days - Speech Link

10. Healthcare Support Services: Conception to Age Two
15/12/2020 - Westminster Hall

1: the debate today, as the early years healthy development review, which my right hon. Friend the Prime - Speech Link

Latest Speeches
Recent Questions related to Extend maternity leave by 3 months with pay in light of COVID-19
1. Maternity Leave: Coronavirus
asked by: Patricia Gibson
04/06/2020
... whether her Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of extending maternity leave by three months to allow time for bonding and socially engaging with other parents and babies and wider family members for mothers of babies born during the covid-19 outbreak.

2. Parental Leave: Childbirth
asked by: Rachel Reeves
10/02/2020
... what estimate her Department has made of the cost per annum to the public purse of introducing for parents of premature babies an entitlement to (a) two weeks of neonatal leave and pay and (b) an additional week of neonatal leave and pay for each week a baby is in neonatal care paid at the statutory maternity pay rate.

Latest Questions

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These groups are vital for baby development, bonding and educating both babies and parents. Given that the government have closed down many areas of the community new parents and babies are confined to their homes with no social interaction which will ultimately impact on the development of children.

We are calling on Boris Johnson and the government to extend paid maternity leave by an additional 3 months, at least to allow for this development and bonding to take place.


Government Response

The UK’s Maternity Leave offer is already amongst the most generous in the World – up to 52 weeks of leave are available, 39 weeks of which are paid – and we currently have no plans to extend it.


During this difficult time for the country, we recognise the disruption the necessary actions are having on people’s lives, their businesses, their jobs and the nation’s economy

That is why the Government has put in place unprecedented support for public services, workers and businesses to protect against the current economic emergency. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme that helps protect people’s jobs and helps employers to still provide important benefits such as enhanced contractual maternity pay.

We have made regulations to ensure women will not lose out on Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) should they be affected by a period of furlough pay. The regulations require employers to calculate SMP on normal earnings rather than reduced pay. It is also possible for employers to offer furlough pay at the end of a woman’s maternity leave and pay period, in effect extending the period a woman is away from work.

We understand that the social distancing measures mean that there are limited opportunities for parents to participate in activities normally available, such as parent and baby groups or introducing their newborn to family friends. This is regrettable but necessary to help safeguard the health of individuals, including other new mothers and babies.

Maternity Leave and Pay are provided to enable employed women to take time off work in the later stages of their pregnancy and after they have given birth. In addition, the UK’s Maternity Leave offer is already amongst the most generous in the world, with up to 52 weeks leave available and 39 weeks of pay. Therefore, we currently have no plans to extend Maternity Leave.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy


MPs spoken contributions during 5 Oct 2020 petition debate

Democratic Unionist Party Gavin Robinson (View contribution) 622 words
Liberal Democrat Wera Hobhouse (View contribution) 579 words
Scottish National Party Owen Thompson (View contribution) 851 words Alison Thewliss (View contribution) 621 words
Social Democratic & Labour Party Claire Hanna (View contribution) 790 words