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The Prime Minister received a stark warning to reject plans for a restriction on maternity and paternity leave, as part of the exercise to deregulate businesses. David Cameron has recruited Adrian Beecroft to look at how the government can reduce the administrative burden for UK businesses, in a response to the companies who say they are dealing with regulations that are excessive.

One area of the legislation that is being looked at is family friendly policies, like maternity and paternity leave. Parents were given the right to co-ordinate their parental leave in order to be with their family. However, Beecroft is considering how the plans could be scaled back.

The equalities minister for the Liberal Democrats, Lynne Featherstone has rejected the suggestions of family friendly policies being cut back. During an interview with The Observer, Featherstone stressed that maternity rights would not be scaled down. She also pointed out that David Cameron had promised to voters that the Conservatives would be a government for the family, which means it would be unlikely for him to support the reductions in rights.

Policy guru, Steve Hilton also came under fire, as he has previously criticised maternity pay. According to a source from Whitehall, Hilton believes that maternity rights hamper women in their search for employment, as employers know that they have to give maternity leave and other concessions by law. A memo from Downing Street which had been leaked to the Guardian shows that David Cameron is still determined to lead the ‘most family-friendly government ever’.

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