HC Deb 08 June 1995 vol 261 c290W
Mrs. Roche

To ask the Secretary of State for Education what maternity and paternity entitlements are available to employees within her Department. [27291]

Mr. Boswell

The Department's established employees qualify for, maternity and paternity benefits in accordance with the civil service management code chapters 3.1 and 5, which are set out in the Department's staff terms and conditions handbook. For mothers the main entitlements are: three months and one week'—14 weeks—of paid maternity leave, followed by four weeks of lower rate SMP; the right to resume work after 14 weeks' paid leave returning to the same job and the same terms and conditions as if she had not been absent. Staff also have the option to extend their unpaid maternity leave provided that the total amount of paid and unpaid leave does not exceed the maximum amount of 52 weeks. Officers who become fathers are entitled to two days' paternity leave at the time of the birth or afterwards.

Casual staff and those on fixed—term appointments are also entitled to 14 weeks' maternity leave irrespective of the hours worked or length of service, in accordance with the EC pregnant workers directive.