In the final part of this short series on what the main parties proposals are for the 2015 General Election regarding employment rights, I look at manifesto pledges for working parents and their families.
Work and families
Free childcare features on the agenda of most of the political parties. The Conservative Party pledges to increase the entitlement to free childcare to 30 hours for all three and four year olds of working parents, whilst the Labour Party will increase free childcare from 15 to 25 hours for three and four year olds of working parents. The Liberal Democrats’ proposal is a bit more involved! Initially, all parents of two ye
ar olds will be entitled to 15 hours a week of free childcare, then 15 hours of free childcare will be available for all working parents of children aged between nine months and two years, and finally 20 hours of free childcare a week will be available to all parents of children aged between two and four and to all working parents from the end of paid parental leave until the child is two years old. UKIP propose to de-regulate childcare provision and amend the voucher scheme but retain the current free childcare regime.
The Labour Party want to oblige SureStart centres to provide 50,000 more childcare places and to introduce a legal guarantee that primary schools will provide care from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm. The Labour Party also pledge to double paid paternity leave from two to four weeks and increase paternity pay to more than £260 a week, the idea being that fathers receive the equivalent of a full week’s work paid at the national minimum wage.
The Liberal Democrats aim to promote flexibility at work and help with childcare costs by: encouraging employers to provide more flexible working; offering an extra month of paternity leave; no qualifying period for paternity and shared parental leave; and completing the introduction of tax-free childcare, which will provide up to £2,000 of childcare support for each child (which UKIP also pledge to honour).
UKIP simply pledge to review childcare provision to make it easier for working parents to access the best childcare funding system that works for them.
Simply put, it seems, when it comes to employment matters, there is more choice than ever on election day on 7 May 2015 in terms of parties to vote for and their policies on work.
For a full picture of what each of the main political parties propose, the link to each manifesto is below:
- Conservative Party manifesto
- Labour Party manifesto
- Liberal Democrat manifesto
- Green Party manifesto
- UKIP manifesto
- SNP manifesto