16 June 2017
Fathers in the UK get a worse paternity leave deal than Dads in 28 countries across the world, including Ecuador, Burkina Faso and the Congo.
This is according to new research from First4Lawyers, which compared the two weeks of leave on 80% pay to which men in the UK are entitled to paternity leave across the globe.
Sweden had the best deal for fathers, offering up to 18 weeks of leave at 80% of their salary – that’s 80 days more than dads in the UK. Most European countries provided 100% pay to new fathers.
But even in less developed countries such as Burkina Faso, the Congo and Ecuador, men got a better offer than Brits, taking home 100% of their salary for two weeks.
Not only is poor paternity leave unfair on Dads, it’s unfair on Mums too, as without time off for fathers, mothers find it more difficult to return to work – a key issue in perpetuating the gender pay gap.
Although the Coalition government of 2010 – 201 claimed it would remedy this problem by providing shared parental leave, new figures show that only 1% of Dads have been able to take this up, which will come as no surprise to the many critics who pointed out the deal – which offers just £140.98 per week to Dads – is unaffordable for the vast majority of families.
The Institute of Employment Rights recommends in its Manifesto for Labour Law – 25 proposals for reform – that paternity leave should be increased to a minimum of one month on full pay. Meanwhile, maternity leave should rise to six months on 100% of the mother’s salary, and the parents’ entitlement to leave should be shareable on a flexible basis, including by reducing working hours.
What’s more, we recommend providing career breaks for workers of up to five years whilst they take care of children or other dependents, and offering stronger flexible working rights including the option to job share and work from home.