EOC calls for extra paternity leave and pay

Fathers should be given a month off work after the birth of their child and be paid £200 a week paternity pay, according to the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC).

The call follows EOC research which shows that almost four in five working fathers would be happy to stay at home to look after their newborn baby.

The commission said the the current two weeks’ paternity leave should be doubled, and statutory paternity pay should increase from £106 to £200 a week.

Jenny Watson, acting chairwoman of the EOC, said: “While the government’s transferable maternity leave is a step in the right direction, it only gives fathers access to leave where the mother has been working, and has maternity rights to share.

“Shared parental leave, as we are recommending, enables dads to play a greater role in caring for their children during their early years.”

The EOC will deliver special Father’s Day cards to the Prime Minister, chancellor, and leaders of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats today, setting out its recommendations.

But HR professionals would oppose any extension of paternity rights, according to research from Croner. The consultancy’s survey of 119 HR staff shows that 54% are against the move.


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