Self-employed workers could be offered new options for parental leave under plans due to face consultation later this year.
The government will this summer explore whether plans for the self-employed to pay higher National Insurance contributions should allow for state-funded paternal and maternal leave for new parents.
Chancellor Philip Hammond announced the consultation today, citing in particular lobbying from the Federation of Small Businesses.
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FSB London policy chair Sue Terpilowski said: “FSB have long argued that there is a clear obstruction for the self-employed looking to obtain the rights granted to employed individuals, particularly around parental leave.
She added: “We look forward to working with him on what this may mean for maternity benefits and paternity leave.”
Hammond also confirmed that changes to the tax-free childcare scheme will be rolled out later this year.
The scheme asks parents to pay money into a government-backed account, with the Treasury offering a 20 per cent top up, up to a maximum of £2,000 per child per year.