HC Deb 11 June 1986 vol 99 c215W
Mr. Irving

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his latest estimate of the number of women who will lose entitlement to maternity allowance as a result of the change to a recent work test.

Mr. Major

It is estimated that in 1987–88 some 94,000 women who would have qualified for maternity allowance under the present scheme will not be entitled either to statutory maternity pay or to maternity allowance under the new provisions which will apply from April 1987. These will almost entirely be women who were not working when their pregnancies began and thus for whom such an earnings-replacement benefit was never intended. It is estimated that some 20,000 women who would not be entitled to maternity allowance under the present rules will be entitled to payment under the proposed recent work test of the new arrangements.