12/05/2017 00:01 BST

Lib Dems Pledge Extra 'Daddy Month’ Of Paid Leave For New Fathers

Policy designed to help dads 'bond' with their children.

Keith Brofsky

Fathers of newborn babies should be given an extra month of paid parental leave to encourage them to bond with their children, the Lib Dems have said.

The plans announced by Tim Farron’s party today, are aimed at greater sharing of parental responsibilities between men and women.

Jo Swinson, the former Lib Dem minister who introduced the original Shared Parental Leave in the Coalition Government, saimore needed to be done to encourage fathers to take leave to “bond with their child during the early weeks and months of their life”.

“Research shows that fathers being more involved in their children’s lives is good for children’s development and good for the health and happiness of the whole family,” she said.

Swinson is hoping to return to parliament on June 8 and is hoping to recapture her old East Dunbartonshire seat from the SNP.

“The Liberal Democrats want to give dads across the country the chance to spend more time with their children,” she added.

Susan Kramer, Liberal Democrat Shadow Business Secretary, said the policy “helps our business sector”.

“Having a workforce that is both more flexible and more motivated will benefit UK businesses greatly. It is the Liberal Democrats who are standing up for fairness and flexibility for parents. Theresa May has never cared,” she said.

Under the Shared Parental Leave policy brought in in 2015, up to 50 weeks of leave - 37 weeks of which is paid, can be shared by mothers and fathers.