Dads are working long hours, struggling to balance work and family life and four in ten say they don't spend enough time with their children, according to a report published today from the Equality and Human Rights Commission which you can download here. Forty five per cent of fathers don't take the two weeks paternity leave that they're entitled to, most because they can't afford to - it's paid at a statutory rate of £123.06 a week. And forty per cent don't ask for flexible work arrangements that would allow them to spend more time with their children because they fear that their commitment to their work will be questioned and the request will harm their career prospects. However, most dads include flexible working as a an option they would look for in a new job so offering it could give employers an edge.
The EHRC has outlined and costed policies that it claims would meet the needs of both businesses and modern families which include:
- two weeks’ paternity leave at the birth of their child at 90 per cent pay
- four months of dedicated 'parental leave' with at least eight weeks of leave being at 90 per cent pay
- another four months’ parental leave - that can be taken by either mother or father – eight weeks of which is taken at 90 per cent pay.