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Poor uptake of paternity leave

Helen Mayson

Less than 10% of new dads take more than two weeks of leave after the birth of a child, says a new ILM report. So are new shared leave proposals doomed to fail?

While 69% of new mothers take six months or more of paternity leave, under 10% of new dads are taking up Additional Paternity Leave, reveals a new report from the Institute of Leadership & Management.

In fact, a quarter of new dads take no leave at all when they have a child and employees feel there is less support for men taking just two weeks off work (58%) than there is for women taking  a full year (63%).

Charles Elvin, Chief Executive of the Institute of Leadership & Management, comments: “The introduction of shared parental leave is a crucial step towards enabling more women to progress into senior roles, yet our research revealed cultural barriers are impeding the uptake of both two weeks statutory paternity leave and Additional Paternity Leave. These attitudes pose a real challenge to the widespread acceptance of shared parental leave in 2015.”

Shared leave

New proposals to allow mums and dads to share up to 52 weeks of leave will come into force next year, and employees are widely supportive (84%). However, they’re concerned that their employers won’t welcome the changes with open arms, with 37% saying they think their employer will be supportive and one in five saying their organisation is actively opposed to new fathers sharing leave with their partner.

Elvin continues: “The implementation of forthcoming shared leave proposals will clearly pose some practical challenges for managers and employers, particularly those in smaller businesses. Supporting and training managers to plan more thoroughly for these situations and lead teams through periods of change will help minimise any disruption.”

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