03 February 2005
Childcare Support Offers Choice – Not Compulsion
Criticism over the Government’s bid to support more women into paid work is overlooking the fact that it goes towards offering genuine choice which many women don’t have, Council of Trade Unions vice-president Helen Kelly said today.
Concerns have been raised that women will be forced into paid work when they would prefer to be at home caring for their children.
“What the Government is looking at in terms of childcare would help to offer a choice to parents to decide when it is important to stay at home with children, and when childcare is used,” Helen Kelly said.
“Unions would not support any moves which forced women into paid work and away from their families – but we are pushing for better pay and workplace arrangements which allow workers to balance the demands of the job with the rest of their life.”
The Government was also looking at extending paid parental leave, which would allow more parents to stay home and care for their children rather than being forced back to work because they need the money.