Michael Portillo, Secretary of State for Employment, blocked a European directive this week which would have forced employers to allow such leave because of the extra costs to industry. But the Co-operative, which already gives fathers five days' paid leave, said that it wanted to move into line with the European legislation.
The managing director, Terry Thomas, said: 'In the future when we come to determining appropriate conditions of employment for staff we will be looking more to European co-operative banks than to our rivals in this country.'
Greville Janner, Labour MP for Leicester West and chairman of the Commons Employment Select Committee, said yesterday that Mr Portillo's opt-out on paternity leave would 'help destroy family life'. He said he would seek to introduce a backbench Bill when Parliament resumes to bring Britain back into line.Reuse content