§ Ms Jowell
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what provision is available 87W to employees of his Department for (a) maternity leave, (b) maternity pay, (c) paternity leave, (d) parental leave, (e) flexible working hours, (f) part-time work, (g) job sharing, (h) leave to care for sick children, (i) home-working, (j) term-time contracts, (k) annual hours contracts, (l) workplace nurseries, (m) child care allowances, (n) carers' leave and (o) career break schemes; and what criteria are used to judge eligibility in each case. 
§ Mr. Hanley
Provisions of employees of the FCO and its executive agencies are as follows.
- (a) Maternity leave and (b) Maternity pay
- There are three elements:
- Paid maternity leave (MATL)
- Statutory maternity pay (SMP)
- Unpaid maternity leave (MUPL)
- Three months plus one week on full salary, in one continuous period to include the date of confinement, the criteria being that the officer:
- is not employed on a casual, standby or short notice appointment, or on a fixed-term appointment of less than two years
- has been employed by the civil service for at least one year and is not on extended unpaid leave immediately before maternity leave would start
- intends to return to work after the confinement agrees in writing to repay payments for maternity leave if she does not return to work.
- Paid for 18 weeks, although for those eligible for MATL 14 weeks of this would be offset by full pay, providing the officer is serving in the United Kingdom.
- An officer may take unpaid maternity leave subject to the total period of MATL, SMP and MUPL not exceeding 52 weeks. In addition employees can apply for further special unpaid leave up to a maximum of five years.
- (c) Paternity leave
- Two days to be taken at the time of confinement, or during the weeks immediately afterwards.
- (d) Parental leave
- Special leave with pay may be authorised to arrange an adoption and care for a newly adopted child.
- (e) Flexible working hours
- A flexible working hours—FWH—scheme is in operation, though not in overseas posts.
- In the FCO heads of Department have discretion to operate the scheme in their Department or in sections of it. Any established or casual—minimum three months' contract—non-industrial member of staff can opt to join an operating FWH scheme.
- In the Overseas Development Administration, a FWH scheme is available to all permanent UK staff.
- (f) Part-time work and (g) Job sharing
- Both are available to all staff serving in the UK and any requests are considered within the constraints of operational requirements.
- (h) Leave to care for sick children
- Up to one week's leave may be granted for the short-term care at home of sick children. For longer-term care staff can apply for up to 5 years' special unpaid leave.
- (i) Home working
- Home working is permitted; each application is considered individually, taking account of the reasons for the request, security implications and operational requirements.
- (j) Term time contracts and (k) Annual hours contracts
- No such contracts are in operation.
- (l) Workplace nurseries
- The FCO subsidises 10 places at a nursery run by the Westminster Children's Society for children from 6 months to 5 years. There is an on-site nursery at the FCO's Hanslope park site. The FCO and ODA use the Westminster holiday playscheme for children from five to 12 years. The ODA provides one of the sites for the holiday playscheme but does not offer nursery provision. The ODA's Scottish headquarters operates a playscheme for children aged five to 14 years.
- (m) Child care allowances
- In the FCO child care allowances are not paid to staff serving in the UK. For staff serving overseas there is an element in the cost of living and representational allowances to compensate for any increased childcare costs. The level of provision is calculated by an allowances inspector on the basis of local costs and the needs of the job.
- In the ODA officers can claim reimbursement of additional child care expenses necessarily incurred as a result of their: attending a residential training courses; travelling for the office on a short-term visit; or attending a training course on a day on which they do not usually work.
- (n) Carers' leave
- Up to one week's leave may be granted for the serious illness of a relative or dependent, or for the short-term care at home of a close relative or dependent. For longer-term care staff can apply for up to five years' special unpaid leave.
- (o) Career break schemes
- Special unpaid leave for a maximum of five years in aggregate. Each application is considered on its merits.
§ Ms Jowell
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what provision is available to employees of executive agencies under the control of his Department for(a) maternity leave, (b) maternity pay, (c) paternity leave, (d) parental leave, (e) flexible working hours, (f) part-time work, (g) job sharing, (h) leave to care for sick children, (i) home-working, (j) term-time contracts, (k) annual hours contracts, (l) workplace nurseries, (m) child care allowances, (n) carers' leave and (o) career break schemes; and what criteria are used to judge eligibility in each case.