By Daniel Hunter

Shared Parental Leave can help to close the gender pay gap, according to Jo Swinson MP.

In a blog post on BritMums, Ms Swinson the gender pay gap "has remained a seemingly intractable issue".

But she believes Shared Parental Leave "can help address one of the root causes of this unacceptable inequality".

"Both mothers and fathers will be able to keep a strong link to the workplace whilst still playing a full part in the early stages of their child’s life. There are many mums who want to be able to balance being a hands-on mum with a dynamic career and there are many working dads who want to be able to spend more time bonding with their baby in the early months of their child’s development," Jo Swinson said.

Under new rules, mothers of babies due on or after 5 April 2015 will still take two weeks maternity leave. After that both parents will be allowed to share up to 50 weeks of parental leave and 37 weeks of pay.

The MP said: "Shared Parental Leave can help create a cultural shift in the workplace, getting rid of outdated gender stereotypes and making it just as normal for fathers to take on childcare responsibilities as mothers. The creation of a workplace environment where men are equally likely to take time out of their career to look after young children will tackle a significant cause of the pay gap and help make the Gender Pay Gap a thing of the past."

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