PHILIPSBURG–United Democrats (UD) Member of Parliament (MP) Tamara Leonard expressed concern on Monday that the law approved on August 26 to increase maternity leave and introduce paternity leave has not yet been published and put into effect.
She hopes amended laws have not gotten stuck in any bureaucracy or unnecessary red tape. She has dispatched a letter to new Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA Minister Pamela Gordon-Carty, who was sworn in last week Thursday, seeking clarity on the status of the approved laws.
Mothers of new-born babies are to get maternity leave of 16 weeks and their “partners” will receive paid paternity leave of seven days once the changes to the Civil Code and other country regulations go into effect.
“Paternity leave will be extended to all who become a parent, whether one is married to the mother of the new-born or not, as long as the father/partner legally recognises the new-born. Accordingly, persons will also be entitled to their wages for the proposed one week off,” Leonard said in a press release.
She said she is grateful to all MPs who supported the amendments. “Now that it is in the hands of government, I hope to have the same support and it is not stalled. Getting these amendments out of the system is a priority. Far too often laws are approved but somehow get stuck in the system, a process that can go for years before they actually take effect. I hope government sees the importance in making sure that this does not be the case with this law,” she said.