Fathers need paid paternity leave

The government should include more financial support for new fathers, rather than extend unpaid paternity leave, if it wants to improve paternity leave take-up, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

A Bill on work and families to be pulished this week, is expected to give fathers the right to six months unpaid paternity leave, although the leave could only be taken only if the child’s mother has returned to work.

Fathers are currently entitled to two weeks paternity leave paid at £106 per week. 

But fewer than half (46%) of fathers said they would take paternity leave at the current rate if they had another child, CIPD research shows.

In contrast, at 90% of full pay the proportion of fathers saying they would take paternity leave increases to 80%, and at full pay the figure rises to 87%.

Rebecca Clake, resourcing adviser at the CIPD, said:  “We would have expected the rate of paternity pay to be one of the factors in the decision to take paternity leave. 

“But with less than half of fathers willing to consider taking leave at the current £106 a week, and four out of five wanting to take up the opportunity at 90% of full pay, the implications for any further family friendly legislation are clear.”

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