§ Mr. Redmond
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what paternity leave is allowed to staff in his Department; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Sainsbury
At present paternity leave is not available to civil servants. The Treasury is, however, finalising arrangements for the introduction of an entitlement to two days' paid paternity leave. Authority does, however, already exist to allow staff special leave to cope with unforeseen domestic difficulties, for example, at the time of the birth of a second or subsequent child. This discretion has occasionally been exercised.