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Parental leave minister barred from benefiting from policy

Andrew Griffiths said that ministers were not allowed to take shared parental leave.

The minister responsible for promoting shared parental leave has admitted he will not be able to benefit from the policy.

Business Minister Andrew Griffiths, who is due to become a father in mid-April, said he was not allowed to share parental leave with his wife.

Mr Griffiths was taking part in a radio interview about the rights available to parents to share their time off after the birth of a baby.

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Business Minister Andrew Griffiths, who is unable to take shared parental leave despite promoting the policy (Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/(Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)/PA)

The workplace right for eligible parents allows them to share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay after having a baby.

They can take time off separately or they can be at home together for up to six months.

But Mr Griffiths said: “Ministers are not allowed to take shared parental leave.”

He told The Emma Barnett Show on BBC Radio 5 Live: “It’s because I’m an office holder rather than an employee. Ministers aren’t allowed to.

“But I think I am going to be the first-ever minister responsible for maternity and paternity to take their full allocation of paternity.

“I’ve already told my office that I’m taking two weeks off.”

Asked if the rules should be changed Mr Griffiths said: “I have to admit to you that it’s not even something that I had thought about. It’s not my priority.

“My priority is to focus on how we can deliver a policy that works for hundreds of thousands people.”

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