**Update 14/06/18 – the motion was carried at the meeting of the Finance and Economy Committee and will become Council policy.
In 2012, Labour ensured that Stirling Council was one of the first in Scotland to pay its staff the Living Wage. In 2015, Labour ensured that Stirling Council set standards again by becoming an Accredited Living Wage Employer. In 2018, Labour will again lead the way by voting for Stirling Council to introduce one of the most family friendly paternity leave standards in Scotland.
Currently staff are entitled to one week on full pay and one week on statutory paternity pay, which is currently £145.18. Currently, almost a third of eligible council employees don’t take the second week, with many citing financial pressures as their reason for returning to work.
The new proposal, to be debated at the Finance & Economy Committee on Thursday would see new dads entitled to four weeks of paternity leave on full pay, to be taken during the first year after their child is born. Labour’s 2017 General Election manifesto contained a commitment to “double paid parternity leave to to four weeks and increase paternity pay – because fathers are parents too and deserve to spend more time with their new babies.”
Labour’s Finance Spokesperson, and Convenor of the Finance & Economy Committee, Councillor Margaret Brisley says,
“I’m proud that Labour is leading this charge on Stirling Council to give new dads every opportunity to play a pivotal role in the critically formative first weeks and months of their children’s lives. Various international studies have found a link between longer paternity leave and greater involvement of fathers in the early lives of their children, greater well being for mums, reduced incidence of postnatal depression in both mums and dads, better outcomes for children and an increased sharing of household work. By taking away a little of the financial pressures, Labour want to ensure that mums and dads can share in both the joy and the work that comes with a new addition to their family. I hope by adopting this proposal that it sends a message to other employers that they should also consider putting in place similar methods in their businesses.”
In the proposal to the Finance & Economy Committee, it says “if adopted, it would place Stirling Council in a gold standard position in relation to the paternity leave terms and conditions available to employees.”
This story relates to our 2017 Stirling Council Manifesto Commitment:
- “we will lead the way by ensuring that Stirling Council sets the standard we want all organisations to aspire to”