A maternity rights charity called ‘Pregnant Then Screwed’ has carried out a survey into dads and other parents who may take paternity leave.
The findings have raised concerns and there is a strong argument to say paternity rights and benefits should be improved.
8 in 10 dads said that their employers are not doing enough to support fathers in the workplace with almost half (46%) saying they have, or would consider switching roles to access better paternity leave and pay.
In the UK, fathers can choose to take either 1 or 2 weeks paternity leave and this must be taken in one go. The current statutory weekly rate of paternity pay is £156.66, or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower).
An employer could choose to enhance the benefits received. From the survey 32% of dads who took ten days paternity leave or less said they struggles financially as a result. 1 in 10 dads did not take any paternity leave at all with more than half of these claiming it was because they couldn’t afford to take the leave.
97% of dads said they do not believe two weeks paternity leave is long enough and 80% of fathers claimed they did not have enough time to bond with their child. There are now calls for the UK Government to improve its paternity leave offering which would create a new statutory minimum that employers must follow.
The founder of Pregnant Then Screwed, Joeli Brearley said the following on the matter “For too long fathers and same sex parents have been denied a fair amount of paid parental leave. This adds to inequality both at home and at work. It’s time to change things up. That’s why we’re calling on the Government to offer all new parents a minimum of six weeks paid leave at 90% of their salary when they become a new parent”.
There is currently a petition titled ‘Make parental leave equal for mothers and fathers.’ Via Change.org (Petition · Make parental leave equal for mothers and fathers. · Change.org) where so far 104,456 people have signed in support.