Extended Paternity leave will come into effect from April 3rd 2011. This means that under the new rules, father’s can take up to 26 weeks paternity leave. Great idea, but will your husband/partner be taking advantage of this flexible benefit?
A generous contribution from the Government and a modern approach in identifying “hands on daddies”, but I think for some families it is simply not a reality.
A recent study carried out by uSwitch.com found 26% of fathers felt that, by taking advantage of such a benefit would be detrimental to their career’s. 16% were fearful about losing their jobs.
With the pressure of increased responsibility and workload, over half the fathers questioned simply couldn’t afford to take the time off. Financial constraints was a major factor and this would hinder nearly half of the men questioned. Some men taking part in the survey, went as far to say that they wouldn’t be happy to cover the workload for father’s taking this length of paternity leave. Money concerns seemed to be a recurring theme, however on a positive note, in general, many men embraced such a benefit.
During a time of economic uncertainty along with financial fears, unfortunately these factors will prevent many father’s from being the “hands on” parent they would want to be.
I think it is a real plus supporting new father’s, but until there is an increased shift towards flexible work patterns and perhaps some improvement on certain stigma’s attached to such parental rights within society, then I am not sure families will embrace such an opportunity nor have the choice to.