HC Deb 07 November 1980 vol 991 cc687-8W
Miss Richardson

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will break down the number of women who currently receive the maternity grant only when they have a baby (a) into those who are employed and those

included in those for the 16–64 age group and cannot be separately identified.

who are not and (b) into those who receive it on the basis of their own contributions and those who receive it on the basis of their husbands'.

Mrs. Chalker

Of the women receiving maternity benefit in the year ending 30 June 1979, 302,700–48 per cent.—were entitled to maternity grant only; 3,200 were not married and there are no statistics available of whether, for the remaining 299,500 married women, the contribution conditions were satisfied by the claimant herself or by her husband. Since however none of these women satisfied the maternity allowance conditions, it seems likely that most of them received the grant on their husbands' contributions.

I am afraid that information is not held on the employment position of women who qualify only for maternity grant. However, a recent Policy Studies Institute study of women confined early in 1979 indicated that just over half had been in work 12 months before the baby was born