Many working fathers believe spending more time with their baby is a career killer and not financially viable, according to a new survey.
A quarter of the men questioned said they could not take the two weeks paternity leave they were entitled to, and one in 10 men said their career was too important to give up, the poll by manufacturer SMA Nutrition involving 545 men and 1,000 women revealed.
The male respondents cited increased difficulties balancing work and home life after the birth of a child. Half of them admitted that returning to work so soon meant it took longer to bond with their baby.
John McGinley, managing director of SMA Nutrition, said: “In an ideal world, many parents would love to give up work to care for their child full-time, but it’s not just the reality of the financial burdens of modern living that make such thoughts a fantasy.”
But women also struggled with becoming a parent. One third of the women questioned said they wanted more time at home and were unhappy with the amount of time their partner spent with their child.
Under government plans due to be implemented in April 2007 fathers will be able to take up to six months’ unpaid leave, but will receive paternity pay for three months if a mother returns to work.