Working dads failing to take paternity leave

The
overwhelming majority of working fathers have not taken up their right to
paternity leave, government figures reveal.

As
many as 400,000 fathers each year could be eligible for time off, and take-up
was expected to be about 70 per cent when the benefit was launched.

However,
the Inland Revenue estimates only 79,210 – around 20 per cent – of working
fathers have taken time off.

New
fathers won the right to two weeks’ paid paternity leave in April 2003.

Trade
and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt admitted that take-up had been
disappointing.

"We
introduced last year two weeks’ paid paternity leave, which had never happened
before. A lot of fathers are taking it up, though not enough," she told
BBC Radio 4.

By Daniel Thomas

     

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