Majority of men would consider taking paternity leave

Almost three-fifths (58%) of men in the UK would consider taking paternity leave, according to research released this week.

The survey, commissioned by law firm Allen & Overy and conducted by YouGov, suggests that mid-range age groups were more likely to consider taking paternity leave. Four-fifths (79%) of 25- to 34-year-olds would contemplate paternity leave, compared with 70% of 35- to 44-year-olds, 48% of 44- to 54-year-olds, and 39% of those older than 54. Of the youngest age group, 18- to 24-year-olds, 58% said they would consider taking paternity leave.

One-fifth (21%) of men responding to the survey said they disagreed with the statement: “I would consider taking paternity leave.” The four most popular reasons for this response were:

  • not prepared for financial sacrifice (42%);
  • traditionally never been done (26%);
  • I’m not paternal (24%); and
  • my partner would want to stay at home with the baby (20%).

From this week, parents will be entitled to increased unpaid parental leave, and from 2015 parents will be able to share maternity/paternity benefits under the Government’s proposed shared parental leave scheme.

Jeya Thiruchelvam, employment law editor at XpertHR, explained that the introduction of shared parental leave will encourage parents to share caring responsibilities: “The introduction of shared parental leave, which will allow parents to share caring responsibilities in whatever way suits them best, will support and accelerate the movement away from mothers automatically being regarded as the primary carer.”

For more information on shared parental leave visit XpertHR.

XpertHR FAQs on paternity pay

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