A pregnant Kirklees councillor has spoken of her surprise that there was no maternity policy for councillors.
Kirklees Council has been forced to change its rules to allow councillors the right to maternity, paternity or adoption leave.
The move has come after Clr Erin Hill, 25, the Cabinet member for children’s services, fell pregnant earlier this year.
The policy was sanctioned at a full meeting of Kirklees Council on Wednesday night just a few days before Clr Hill is due to go on maternity leave.
It is thought no serving Kirklees councillor has ever taken maternity leave before.
Clr Hill, revealed her baby joy last September on Twitter, posting: “I’m a Labour councillor and when I asked at three months pregnant what maternity rights I had, the answer was: “We don’t know, it’s never really happened.”
She added: “Colleagues of all parties have been very supportive of bringing in reform. But... it’s 2017.”
At the Huddersfield Town Hall meeting, councillors agreed to amend the allowances scheme to authorise maternity, paternity and adoption leave and pay.
Following the vote, Clr Hill, who was just 22 when she was first elected, spoke to the Examiner.
She said: “It’s a big step forward. The lack of maternity policy is a big factor in a lot of young people not coming forward into politics.
“I know people who have been deterred from standing because being a councillor is not compatible with family life.
“It shouldn’t be particularly radical to say you can be a young person, interested in politics, and want to have a family.
“So I’m really glad the changes were passed and it got agreement from across the board.
“We’ve made some real strides forward but there’s still a long way to go.
“I hope people will see this and say: ‘That makes politics possible for me.’”
Clr Hill’s maternity leave, which starts at Christmas, won’t be all feeds, nappies and baby groups.
Despite being on maternity leave, her term as member for Crosland Moor and Netherton will end in May, meaning she will have to take her new born on the campaign trail, in a bid to retain her Labour seat and, in turn, her maternity pay.
The council policy says those who lose or fail to stand will have all the maternity payments ceased.
Clr Hill joked: “There’s a long tradition of politicians kissing babies on the campaign trail, which I’ll be continuing – except I’ll be pushing a pram with my own baby in it.”