PLANS to tackle disparity between the amount of time given to Caerphilly councillors on parental leave and adoption leave have been backed.

Councils are currently bound by Welsh Government legislation to allow 26 weeks of maternity absence but only two weeks to those who adopt children.

The Welsh Government has already said the rules are ‘no longer in line’ with arrangements elsewhere and are considering reform ‘at the earliest opportunity’.

A motion from asking for the ‘unfair’ arrangements to be changed was backed by Caerphilly council’s democratic services committee on Wednesday.

“If it’s a new-born or adopted child there is always an adjustment period for parents, and it’s only right that they have that” said Plaid Cymru councillor Donna Cushing.

“Not having that entitlement is total and utter discrimination against them.”

The motion, tabled by Labour councillor Arianna Leonard, also requested the Welsh Government to adopt a parental leave policy for councils as set out by the Local Government Association.

South Wales Argus: Councillor Arianna LeonardCouncillor Arianna Leonard

The document suggests that any councillor who adopted a child through an approved adoption agency should be entitled to take up to six months adoption leave, with the option to extend to 52 weeks if required.

Councillors heard that this would apply for children up to the age of 18, which Independent councillor Graham Simmonds took issue with.

“I can understand the parental leave element for babies up to infancy age but I think that’s excessive,” he said.

Despite this, Cllr Simmonds, and the entire committee, backed the motion and recommended it be supported by full council.

South Wales Argus: Independent councillor Graham Simmonds supported the motion, despite concerns that changes to adopted leave policies were 'excessive'Independent councillor Graham Simmonds supported the motion, despite concerns that changes to adopted leave policies were 'excessive'

The authority has already voiced its displeasure with the existing parental leave arrangements offered to its elected members.

In response to a Welsh Government consultation last June, a statement read: “It is unfair to only allow two weeks for adoption when families can be adapting to significant changes.

“As corporate parents, surely local authorities should be leading the way in supporting people considering adoption.”