OTTAWA -- For the first time ever, members of Parliament will have the right to take parental leave from their jobs on Parliament Hill when they have or adopt a new baby.

The House of Commons has unanimously agreed to adopt new rules that will allow new parents who are serving as MPs to take up to 12 months of parental leave.

The rules give MPs who are expecting babies the ability to take up to four weeks off as leave at the end of their pregnancy as well.

Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould, who was the first cabinet minister to give birth while in office, calls the move a historic change.

She says she hopes it will lead to a culture change in legislative chambers across the country.

Gould says she also hopes this new leave policy will encourage more women to run for public office with the knowledge that this would be one less barrier for them to face.