The Government intends to extend statutory maternity pay and statutory adoption pay from 39 weeks to 52 weeks. Paid additional paternity leave is also to be implemented by the end of this parliament.

This would allow fathers to take up to 26 weeks’ paid additional paternity leave in situations where the mother wants to return to work early before the expiry of her ordinary or additional maternity leave. Implementation of these provisions was originally planned for April 2009, but has now been postponed for a year.