Paid maternity leave will be extended from six to nine months from 2007, under plans to boost parental rights.
Mums will be able to transfer some of their maternity leave to dads
The move, outlined in the Queen's Speech, will help mothers - and fathers of adopted children - to take more of their 12 month leave entitlement.
The Work and Families: Parental Rights Bill will also allow mothers to transfer some of their paid maternity leave to the father.
The right to request flexible working from their employer could be extended.
This could cover parents of children of school age and women who look after sick or disabled relatives following consultation.
At present, parents with children under six can put in a flexible working request.