Twenty weeks of parental leave for each parent & twenty weeks to share

Fair parental leave is essential to further gender equality, combat employer discrimination and improve the wellbeing of the child.

Jan 11, 2021

Volt calls for parental leave to be paid and equal for all parents regardless of their sex, gender & orientation, and also whether they choose adoption or surrogacy. The party defines parental leave in two different categories; individual & shared. It believes that this is essential to further gender equality, combat employer discrimination and improve the wellbeing of the child.

“Parenthood has always been one of the most vital roles humans must undergo. In today’s socioeconomic climate, the struggle of parenthood has been exacerbated. We aim to mitigate these struggles by making an equal and supportive policy of Parenthood, one that does not place the responsibility of parenthood on the pregnant individual alone”  - remarked Kassandra Mallia, Volt Candidate & VP.

Individual Parental Leave would be when each parent would receive 20 weeks of fully paid parental leave, paid by both the employer and the State, at a rate of 100% of their respective income. Alternatively, they may opt for 25 weeks at 80% of their income. Self-employed individuals will be completely paid by the state.

Shared Parental Leave would be when a couple would receive 20 weeks of additional paid leave, paid at 70% of the couple’s average income, and would decide between them how it’s shared. This would also be accessible to foster parents.

The party aims to also ensure that unemployed individuals would also benefit from both types of parental leave, and receive money from a ‘Parental Leave Fund’ (equivalent rate to today’s Maternity Leave Benefit) for their share. 

Additionally, single parents would be eligible for Individual Parental Leave equivalent to two parents and the ordinary amount of Shared Parental Leave, and an option would be introduced for parents to transfer part of their parental leave to their partner, family member or guardian.  

‘We need to normalise that any individual regardless of their sex or gender can be an active participant in the upbringing of their children, and move away from expecting mothers to be the primary parent who stays at home with the kids. It’s about time our laws reflect that. ’’ added Arnas Lasys, Volt Co-President.