§ Mr. Bercow
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the(a) financial costs and (b) benefits to his Department of the Parental Leave Directive. 
§ Ms Blears
As any annual leave taken by staff is recorded and checked locally by business areas within the Department, there is no centrally held information available on the cost of parental leave taken by staff.
The Department has for some time had a special leave policy enabling its staff to take parental leave. Since it came into force the Department has complied with the Parental Leave Directive. As a responsible employer the Department is committed to supporting its staff to work flexibly around their family responsibilities and has a flexible working pattern policy and a child care and carer support scheme. The Department benefits by retaining skilled staff and being valued as an employer.