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Suella Braverman Becomes The First Ever Cabinet Member To Take Paid Maternity Leave

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Suella Braverman Becomes The First Ever Cabinet Member To Take Paid Maternity Leave

The UK government has been forced to amend the law so the Attorney General could take maternity leave.

Under current laws, Suella Braverman, the government's chief law officer, would have to resign or demoted if she wanted to take time off following the birth.

Yes, you read that right - this is still the case in British politics in 2021.

Suella is due to welcome her second baby (Credit: PA Images)
Suella is due to welcome her second baby (Credit: PA Images)
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Suella, 40, announced in November that she was expecting her second child early this year.

In order to allow Suella the chance to stay in employment and spend time with her newborn, the government has announced a new law to formalise the process for ministerial maternity leave.

The Ministerial and other Maternity Allowances Bill will allow cabinet ministers to receive up to six months' leave on full pay.

Pregnant ministers had to previously resign or be demoted to take maternity leave (Credit: Unsplash)
Pregnant ministers had to previously resign or be demoted to take maternity leave (Credit: Unsplash)
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Female politicians and ministers were previously forced to abide by legislation from the 1970s which prevented the Prime Minister against having the flexibility to pay a cabinet minister maternity leave alongside paying a salary to their temporary replacement.

Women did not make up more than 10 per cent of sitting MPs until 1997. Currently, 34 per cent of all MPs are female.

It is thought the Labour Party will back the new bill, with leader Sir Keir Starmer saying the change was long overdue.

The Labour Party will back the law change (Credit: PA Images)
The Labour Party will back the law change (Credit: PA Images)
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Shadow cabinet office minister, Rachel Reeves added the measures were a "small but significant step forward" but the government needed to go further and make provision for paternity, adoption and shared parental leave.

The law is currently being rushed through parliament so Suella can enjoy time with her baby, however, Labour is keen to revisit this issue in the future to also ensure it covers paternity leave.

While there are employment laws in place to prevent this sort of gender bias happening, ministers are not subject to these as they are effectively hired, and fired, by the Prime Minister.

In the UK generally, women are entitled to up to 52 weeks' maternity leave. They must take at least two weeks' leave after the baby is born.

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Fathers are also entitled to take two weeks' statutory paternity leave, at £149 a week.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Topics: maternity, UK News, Life News, Life, Motherhood, Politics, Mother

Kimberley Bond
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