Nick Clegg today launched a report The Home Front, produced by the think tank Demos, which explores the influences and pressures on today’s families and the interdependent relationships within them, drawing on research based on the Millennium Cohort Study and British Cohort Study 1970.
He revealed how one of the major objectives of the Coalition is flexible working, saying that changes to flexible working laws will help to nurture better parenting and further gender equality. Talking about current legislation and the disproportionate share of work and domestic labour between men and women he said that,
“These rules patronise women and marginalise men. It is an Edwardian system.”
He suggested men need to be actively encouraged to take up paternity leave and take a flexible working approach. The Government will be launching a consultation to investigate and promote shared parenting, which he said will ensure that women’s guaranteed rights to maternity leave are maintained but will aim to transform fathers’ opportunities. Amongst the many measures considered will be ‘use it or lose it’ paternity leave, which he said has been shown to be very successful internationally and is recommended in the report.
Mr. Clegg then stated that social mobility was the primary objective of the Coalition Government, adding:
“Good parenting is absolutely central to social mobility”.
Explaining the benefits of working both financially and in shaping parents as good role models, Mr Clegg suggested that many of the Coalition’s policies, notably the introduction of the Universal Credit, would help to lower workless parenting.
LEXMOND, J., BAZALGUETTE, L. and MARGO, J. (2011) The Home Front. Demos Report, January 2011. London: Demos
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