‘Paid maternity leave will be an economic driver for our country’: Government says in-work benefits will increase by £8 billion
By John M. KoehlerA senior official at the Department for Work and Pensions said paid maternity leave would be an “economic driver” for the UK’s economy.
“It will give mothers an opportunity to take time off work, so that their families can remain financially stable and they can support their children while they are at school,” Dr. Rebecca Hill, a former senior official with the Department of Health, told CNBC on Tuesday.
“This will mean that the number of women returning to work will increase, particularly at the start of the year,” Hill said, adding that the government was considering ways to increase the paid leave for those who choose to leave work, including by increasing the minimum wage, which currently stands at £9 an hour.
“In the short term, it will increase the number who can take a few weeks off,” Hill added.
Hill’s comments came after the UK government’s latest update on the economy showed the economy was still in recession, with the unemployment rate continuing to hover around 12.5 percent.
The government has also been struggling to keep its unemployment rate below the target of 5.1 percent, which is considered to be safe.
The economy is expected to grow by around 2.8 percent in the second quarter of 2018.