The Government announced previously that from April 2011, new mums will be able to transfer half of their year long allowance to the father of the child. This means new dads could claim £120.06 for up to 3 months of this 6 month period. This has now become a bit of a political football with the Conservatives claiming the Government could shelve these plans after the electorate has been to the polls. The Conservatives have pledged to potentially double the amount of paid paternity leave fathers can take and to allow them to take it at the same time as the mother. The Government has hit back saying they have doubled maternity pay and leave, brought in paternity leave, provided twice as many child care places and introduced the right to request flexible working.

A spokesperson for “Families Need Fathers” has greeted the announcement favourably. However, they want to see the end of the dichotomy of maternity and paternity leave and pay. Instead they want to see a period of parental leave set aside so that parents can choose when and how to utilise this valuable time.