Fathers will not take advantage of new paternity rules, warn critics
Rules allowing new fathers to take up to four extra weeks of paid paternity leave (if the mother of their child returns to work early) are to come into play in four years time, but how many fathers will actually take the government up on their offer?
As it stands new fathers are only given a measly two weeks to spend with their new baby, so the implementation of new rules in four years time allowing them to take extra should be welcome news. However, many critics have warned that the stigma of taking time off work could mean that many men will miss out on precious time with their newborn.
Chief executive of the Fatherhood Institute, Rob Williams, has warned that many new dads would not want to take the extra time off work, which some have dubbed as ‘daddy month’, because they may feel their colleagues will feel they are not committed.
“He risks looking less reliable than his colleagues. The reason men don’t take time off now is partly regulation and partly financial. It is much easier for a woman to ask for flexible working than a man. You can change the structure of leave but you can still have that cultural block”. Said Williams.
According to chief executive of Working Families, Sarah Jackson, 40 per cent of new fathers already turn down their two week entitlement either because of stigma or because they simply can’t afford it.
“If the Government are serious about making Britain family-friendly, they need to improve access to parental leave by paying it properly”. She said.
The new paternity plans are set to come into play in April 2015 and may also allow parents to request time off at various times throughout their child’s first year.
View the original Telegraph article.
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