The impact of Covid-19 on maternity and parental leave Contents



1 Introduction

The Petition

The Government’s response

The inquiry

The aim of the inquiry

2 Current entitlements for new parents

Current entitlements for new parents

Statutory Maternity Leave and Pay

Maternity Allowance

Adoption pay and leave, special guardians and neonatal leave

Adoption and special guardianship

Neonatal leave


3 Support for new parents during Covid-19

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Furlough as an option at the end of maternity leave

Health and safety for pregnant women and new mothers

Issues with Statutory Maternity Pay entitlements due to Covid-19

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

Extending parental leave and pay for three months


4 Becoming a new parent during the pandemic

Giving birth during the lockdown

Isolation and support

Health visitors


Baby classes and groups

Dental care

5 Parental mental health

Postnatal depression

Financial concerns and parental mental health

Parents with multiple children

The impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on parental mental health

The impact on children

The economic cost of poor parental mental health

6 Adoption and special guardians


Post adoption depression

The impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on adoption leave and newly adopted children

Time for transitioning to school


Self-employed adoptive parents

Special guardians

The impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on special guardians

7 The neonatal experience

Neonatal leave and pay

The impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the neonatal experience

8 Childcare and returning to work

The importance of childcare

Nurseries and childminders

Crisis in funding and availability

Reopening, health concerns and separation anxiety

Grandparents and other childcare options

Returning to work

Risk of redundancy

Challenging unfair dismissal


Conclusions and recommendations

Annex 1: Summary of initial public engagement

Annex 2: Summary of follow-up public engagement

Formal minutes


Published written evidence

List of Reports from the Committee during the current Parliament

Published: 6 July 2020