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ARC - Manager speaks of ‘challenges’ of implementing workers’ rights

A physiotherapy manager whose staff have notched up ‘21 maternity leaves’ spoke of the challenges of implementing workers’ rights.

Sue Rees, of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Management and deputy head of services for Cardiff and Vale trust, took to the rostrum during a debate on paternity rights. The government has proposed offering fathers up to six months’ paternity leave. Delegates discussed a motion calling for additional paternity leave to be a ‘real option’ for all fathers wishing to share in the care of their child, not merely a perk for those with good employers. Ms Rees, a supporter of flexible working, said her experience of managing maternity leave showed the need for ‘equitable’ guidelines to ensure flexible working was implemented fairly. Andrew Merriman, representing Yorkshire stewards and safety reps, warned that ministers had not specified when the change would be brought in. He wanted the CSP to lobby ministers to publish and enforce the extension to paternity rights as soon as possible. Jonathan Sheppard, for South East Coastal stewards and safety reps said: ‘The key issue is about choice and equality in childcare.’ Although some employers looked favourably on flexible working, others did not. ‘We need to eliminate that kind of inconsistency,’ he said. Arguing against the motion, Alan Barbero, a student representative, said mandating the CSP to lobby government for a change that was already in the pipeline could be wasted effort.  Motion 24 was carried on the conference floor (and also on iCSP) 

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