Whilst the government has agreed to a raft of measures to support new parents, a bid to review paternity and adoption allowance was recently rejected.

As part of a move to attract more young people to the island, the government has committed to extend childcare support down to age one, level up child benefit, and increase maternity allowance.

At the time one MHK criticised his colleagues for voting down a move to review paternity and adoption allowance.

Lawrie Hooper, MHK for Ramsey, said: ‘Tynwald has just voted down a government proposal to expand paternity and adoption allowances as well as maternity allowance, instead instructing us to focus on maternity only. This is entirely unacceptable and I truly hope those members who voted this will reflect on their actions.’

Whilst maternity allowance varies, it spans between four and twelve weeks full pay, followed by between four to six weeks at half pay, with a maximum total pay of 18 weeks.

Paternity allowance for eligible individuals is up to two weeks pay.

Adoption allowance can be paid for a maximum of 39 weeks, which is to help individuals take time off work to be with the child or children they are adopting.

Whilst a review of allowance was voted down, more recently the government has moved to modernise paternity leave through legislation that would introduce shared parental leave.

This intends to provide parents with more flexibility than additional paternity leave over how they decide to share childcare during the first year of the child’s life.

The introduction of shared parental leave is accompanied by a move to make it a right to time off work to accompany a partner to antetnatal appointments, as well as the right to parental bereavement leave including cases of miscarriage and stillbirths.

A statement from Chamber of Commerce said: ‘ Chamber will be monitoring the progress of the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2023 and the amendments it proposes to make to Part VII of the Employment Act 2006.

‘Depending on the progression of the Bill, Chamber intends to consult members to see whether the legislative amendments it will effect regarding family leave and, in particular, the proposed introduction of shared parental leave, are considered sufficient.’

Michelle Haywood, Rushen MHK, said: ‘The number of births and therefore the number of young children and our population are directly impacted by the island’s ability to attract and retain a young working population who will become our new parents.

‘The decisions of that demographic group relating to whether to start a family, how many children they can have, what is the age gap are all critical to reversing the decline in birth rate.’