Minister leaves radio listeners in shock after shared parental leave admission
Andrew Griffiths, the government’s small business minister, has revealed he is unable to take advantage of a shared parental leave policy he was responsible for promoting.
As part of an effort to raise awareness of employment rights, a new campaignhas been launched to show working parents how childcare duties can be shared. New research revealed just two per cent of qualifying couples take-up the initiative, with half of the public unaware shared parental leave was an option.
Griffiths, who is set to become a father in April, had been tasked with promoting the 1.5m campaign.
However, in a BBC 5 Live interview with presenter Emma Barnett, Griffiths shocked listeners when he claimed as an office holder? he was not working as an employee and therefore would be unable to take shared leave.
Before Griffiths, who was given the small business minister job in January 2018, could finish defending himself as the first-ever minister first-ever minister responsible for maternity and paternity to take their full allocation of paternity, a stunned Barnett took full advantage of the irony.
She said: Hang on a minute, back up a second. You’ve just come on the radio to promote shared parental leave, and you’re in a job where the rules could be changed because you are the rule-makers where you are not allowed to take shared parental leave.
“How can you say that without laughing?”
When asked why ministers did not simply change the law to allow themselves the same rights as employees, Griffiths left Barnett open-mouthed by admitting it’s not even something I had thought about.
Barnett added: I find it almost too much like Yes, Minister? to be true.
Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.