April 25, 2024

Economy secretary to take maternity leave in summer

Image caption,

Màiri McAllan said she hoped her example would send a ‘strong signal’ to women about having a family while holding a top job

Scotland’s economy secretary Màiri McAllan is pregnant and will take maternity leave this summer, it has been confirmed.

It will be the second time a serving Scottish cabinet secretary has taken maternity leave after Kate Forbes’s pregnancy in 2022.

Arrangements to cover Ms McAllan’s ministerial responsibilities will be set out by the first minister.

The Scottish government said she will resume her duties on her return.

A spokesperson added she notified Humza Yousaf of her pregnancy at the beginning of the year.

Ms McAllan, 31, was previously transport secretary – a brief that was taken over by Fiona Hyslop in a reshuffle earlier in February after Michael Matheson resigned.

Ms McAllan took over the economy brief from Neil Gray, who was appointed health secretary. She is currently the wellbeing economy, net zero and energy secretary.

Ms McAllan said she was “laser-focused” on delivering her portfolio priorities.

“My husband Iain and I are delighted that we are expecting our first child in the summer, and very much look forward to welcoming this new addition to our family,” she said.

“I will spend the coming months setting the groundwork for all I believe needs to be done pursuant to this. That way, work can continue in my absence and I can seamlessly pick back up on my return.

“I hope my example will send a strong signal to all women and girls – and to Scotland more generally – that starting a family should never be a barrier to holding senior positions within any organisation and that, as a nation, we are stronger when our politics and government reflect our society.”

Mr Yousaf offered his congratulations to Ms McAllan on the “fantastic news”.

He said: “I am pleased Màiri has agreed to remain cabinet secretary for wellbeing economy, net zero and energy while on leave, and take up her duties again upon her return after spending some treasured time with the exciting new addition to her family.”

Ms McAllan told the Sunday Mail newspaper that her baby is due at the end of July.

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