Barbara is promoting new rights for carers and working parents which are due to be introduced on 1 April.
The new measures will see paid maternity leave rise from 6 to 9 months and will provide carers with the right to request flexible working hours.
“At the last General Election I promised people in Worsley that the Government would work to bring in new rights for working parents and working carers to help them balance work and life. I am delighted that these rights will be delivered at the beginning of next month.
“Extending paid maternity leave offers new mums more time at home with their babies. This right also applies to parents who are adopting children. Since 1997, our Government has increased paid maternity leave from 18 weeks to 9 months and we will increase it further to a full 12 months by April 2009.
“I have campaigned locally and in Parliament for more recognition of the difficult situation of working carers. Caring is an important role and this new right to request flexible working will be a help to working carers. I am now campaigning with the Usdaw union for the right to request flexible working to be extended to all workers.”
John Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary said:
“We are delighted that Barbara is supporting our campaign for an extension of the right to request flexible working.
“The Government originally introduced the right for parents of children under 6. That has proved to be a big success and employers understand that it helps them attract high quality employees who would otherwise be excluded because of childcare issues”.
Barbara meets Ruth Stoney of the Usdaw union