Clause 1 - Payment of maternity allowance: Ministerial office

Part of Ministerial and other Maternal Allowances Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 11th February 2021.

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Photo of Patrick Grady Patrick Grady SNP Chief Whip 3:30 pm, 11th February 2021

The hon. Lady knows that she has the support of the Scottish National party for her amendments. Indeed, my hon. Friend Hannah Bardell wanted to make sure that her support in particular was recorded.

Until the pandemic, the only times that I acted as a proxy were actually for new fathers in our group; we have not had a new mother, at least in the time that I have been here. I have heard the case made on many occasions that the best stride that could be made for gender equality would be equality of parental leave. If that parental leave could be shared between both parents of a child, it would be an incredible way of helping to break through the glass ceiling—if the entitlement was there for everyone. The hon. Lady is absolutely right that this Bill and the clauses that we are debating just now do not make that distinction.