- Posted by: Valerie Vaz MP
- Category: News
On 9 January 2013, Valerie Vaz MP, Walsall South, met with the Minister for Children and Families, Edward Timpson MP to discuss the proposals to equalise leave, pay and allowance arrangements for adoptive parents with those available to parents whose children are born to them.
Valerie Vaz MP said:
“I was very pleased to meet with the Minister to discuss the provisions contained in my Adoption (Leave Pay and Allowance Arrangements) Bill. I introduced the Bill under the Ten Minute Rule procedure on 29 June 2011. Since then I have been having discussions with various Government ministers as to how the provisions of my Bill can be taken forward.”
“The Minister confirmed that the Government will be taking forward two of the three provisions contained in my Bill. The first is to equalise leave arrangements. The second is to equalise pay arrangements for adoptive parents. The Minister said the Government’s intention is to have the necessary legislation in place by spring 2014 subject to Parliamentary business and timetabling.”
“The third provision of my Bill relates to statutory allowances for self employed adoptive parents. Currently self employed adoptive parents do not get any statutory allowance, the equivalent of maternity allowance. Adoption UK indicated that people keen to adopt need the allowance. One example was that of a hairdresser who said she would find it helpful to receive this allowance. The Minister indicated that he would discuss this with his colleagues in the Department for Work and Pensions, who are responsible for administering the allowance.”
“I raised the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions on 7 November 2012. The Deputy Prime Minister, responding on behalf of the Prime Minister, replied that the Government was looking at the issue. The Government subsequently announced their intention to introduce the legislation in a Written Ministerial Statement: ‘Flexible Parental Leave and Flexible Working’ on 13 November 2012.”
“These measures will ensure adoptive parents are treated in the same way as birth parents. They should also help to reduce the time children in care wait before they are placed with an adoptive family.”
Hugh Thornbery, the Chief Executive of Adoption UK was also present at the meeting.
The three provisions from Valerie’s 10 Minute Rule Bill:
1. Equal eligibility for maternity leave and adoption leave. Adoptive parents should be entitled to adoption leave irrespective of length of service, as are pregnant women. Pregnant women are entitled to 52 weeks of maternity leave, irrespective of length of service. Statutory entitlement for adoptive parents is also 52 weeks but they must have completed 26 weeks’ continuous service with their employer.
2. Equal rates of pay for the first six weeks of adoption and maternity leave. Statutory maternity pay is paid at 90% of weekly average earnings for the first 6 weeks, and then the lower rate of statutory maternity pay or 90% of average earnings, whichever is the lower. But Statutory adoption pay is paid at the lower rate throughout the 39 weeks of statutory adoption pay.
3. Equal eligibility for a statutory adoption allowance equivalent to maternity allowance. Self-employed adoptive parents cannot access the equivalent of maternity allowance available to self-employed biological mothers.
Valerie Vaz MP’s 10 Minute Rule Bill: Adoption (Leave, Pay and Allowance Arrangements) Bill is available to read here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2010-2012/0212/2012212.pdf
Jo Swinson MP, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Written Ministerial Statement: “Flexible Parental Leave and Flexible Working” is available to read here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm121113/wmstext/121113m0001.htm#12111374000008
More information about Adoption UK can be found at: http://www.adoptionuk.org