Maternity Bill amended

Lobbying by small to medium-sized businesses has resulted in the government making amendments to the Work and Families Bill.

The Bill will extend the length of time that maternity leave is paid as well as changing the extent of paternity leave.

Gerry Sutcliffe, minister for employment relations and consumer affairs, said: 'As a result of extensive consultation with business we will increase the period of notice those coming back from maternity leave must give if they change their plans from 28 days to two months to enable employers to plan around a mother's return to work.

'We will enable improved contact between mothers and their employers during the maternity leave period - including introducing optional keeping-in-touch days. We will also be clarifying that employers may make reasonable contact with their employee during maternity leave.'

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