Headlines: January 15th, 2004

The Maternity Alliance has launched a new on-line survey about parents’ rights to request flexible working hours. The Government introduced a new right to request flexible working hours in April 2003. The Alliance wants to know whether parents are exercising their rights and how employers are responding. The Department for Education and Employment has promised to review how this right is working in 2006 and the survey will help inform the process.The survey was launched via the charity’s new website and parents can fill in the survey by logging onto www.maternityalliance.org.uk. The website gives information on the full range of benefits pregnant women and new families are entitled to including maternity and paternity rights and benefits, social security benefits, rights at work, and health benefits such as free prescriptions and dental care. It also provides information on tax credits in 8 different languages

The Maternity Alliance is a national charity which works to improve support for pregnant women, new parents and babies under one. The organisation has been in operation for 21 years. It was founded in response to inequalities in treatment outcomes for pregnant women and new families on low income. Since that time the focus of the organisation’s work has shifted considerably to take into account social, medical and economic changes, in particular the significant increase in the number of women who combine pregnancy and new parenthood and work.