An Aberdeenshire councillor has urged changes in Scottish Government regulations to allow paid family leave for elected officials, after struggling to get time off when she had a baby.
Gwyneth Petrie, SNP councillor for Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford said she was left with “uncertainty” while awaiting a decision from her fellow councillors over whether or not she would be granted the full time off she requested for maternity leave.
Under the Local Governance Scotland Act 2004, councillors have no legal right to family leave.
On behalf of Ms Petrie, Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin has now raised the issue with Kevin Stewart, the Scottish Government minister for local government, calling for the introduction of paid family leave.
Ms Petrie said: “I had to start my maternity leave period without any certainty as to how much time the administration at Aberdeenshire Council would deem long enough for me to have off as paid leave.
“In fact, it wasn’t decided until after my baby was born.
“This uncertainty added a level of stress to my life at a time when I should have solely been looking forward to the birth of my son.
“Having such major decisions taken at the whim of each council administration is unfair and unsustainable – particularly if we want to encourage women into politics.”