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We need more of this kind of policy - and for it to be taken further.

Commenting on Government proposals announced today (Thursday) to make the second six months of maternity leave transferrable between parents, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:

'These proposals will help millions of people balance their work and family life. As both parents work in most modern families, it's right that mums and dads should decide who looks after their baby, rather than the state deciding for them by only paying the mother for parental leave.

'Business lobby groups have opposed every new family-friendly right, from flexible working to extended maternity pay. But in reality these changes have hugely benefitted millions of families and have had no damaging effect on businesses.'

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Jan 29th, 2010 at 06:48:30 AM EST
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And for employers to implement good practice and reduce stigma experienced by men who want to share childcare more equally.

See TUC guide to family friendly working

TUC Press release

However, while millions of workers and their families have benefitted from the growth of flexible working, the guide warns that poorly managed workplaces can do harm more than good, often leading to long and unsocial hours.

The guide explains the various legal entitlements to paid and unpaid time off, as well as the right to request flexible working. Unions are often able to negotiate policies that go well beyond the legal minimum, with some of the most effective policies open to all staff and not just parents, the guide says.

The TUC says that many employers still base family friendly working practices on traditional notions of family. This is likely to exclude many workers such as fathers and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, who also have rights as parents and carers, the guide says.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'Unions have led the way in the long battle for more family friendly rights and it's now one of the main issues that members ask their union rep for guidance on.

'As fewer parents and carers fit the stereotypical model of the breadwinner husband with part-time working wife, it's important for union reps to be fully informed on everyone's legal entitlements.

'Our new guide should help union reps negotiate better family friendly working practices. After all, as the examples in our guide show, good policies can benefit both staff and employers alike.'

These kind of developments if pushed with good leadership will have eventual influence in shifting attitudes and breaking down gender roles.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Jan 29th, 2010 at 06:58:20 AM EST
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