Did you know? Almost 1/3 of Fathers in the UK take no paternity leave after the birth of their child?!
Research has found that due to the UK’s “measly” paternity leave rights (the worst in Europe), Fathers aren’t taking paternity leave.
- Only 18% of the British public think that paternity leave should be 2 weeks or less.
- 62% of fathers surveyed say that they would take longer leave if statutory paternity pay (SPP) was increased.
When you look at the rate of SPP, it’s no wonder. SPP entitlements are £172 a week, or 44% of the national living wage.
Couple SPP entitlements with statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance and the current cost of living crisis – there’s really no questioning why partners are having to continue working and not take paternity leave.
Centre for Progressive Policy (CPP) analysis of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) data found that countries with more than six weeks of paid paternity leave had (in comparison to countries that had less than six weeks):
- 4% smaller gender wage gap.
- 3.7% smaller labour force participation gap.
If we take this research, it is estimated that closing the gender employment gap in all UK local authorities could boost GDP by 1%, increasing economic output by £23bn.
Setting aside the gender pay gap/labour force discussion, what are the other implications?
Joeli Brearley, the founder of Pregnant Then Screwed:
“We have the least generous paternity benefit in Europe. Dads and partners get a measly £172 a week for two weeks and because babies can’t suddenly look after themselves when they are two weeks old, this means the joy and sometimes the burden of care falls on to the shoulders of women.”
Analysis of @pregnant_then_screwed “state of the nation” survey data, weighted by @Women_in_Data, shows that:
- Women who had a child or adopted in the past three years had taken an average of 40 weeks’ leave, compared with an average of two weeks for fathers.
- 63% of men said they had not felt mentally ready to return to work.
Good mental health is pretty important for both new parents and workplace productivity.
There’s so much more to this discussion, but at the risk of turning this into a novel we’ll pause here for now. We think that it might be time for a change in approach to maternity and paternity leave rights, and childcare support/provisions.
What do you think?! Let us know in the comments below!