Fathers welcome first step but call for more generous payment of paternity leave entitlement.

19 October 2005

For immediate release: 19 October 2005

Contact: Jack O’Sullivan, Fathers Direct 07779 655585/ 01608 737125

The Government’s planned new extended paternity leave entitlement must be paid more generously if it is to offer genuine choice to parents as to who looks after children, Fathers Direct said today.

The charity welcomed the Government’s plans to offer new fathers extended paternity leave, some of it with the potential of payment, as a first step towards allowing parents to decide how they wish to organise the care of their young children.

Duncan Fisher, chief executive of Fathers Direct, the national information centre on fatherhood, said:

“Offering extended paternity leave, with the opportunity of some payment, is an important first step towards reforming our antiquated leave system and giving parents real choice as to who looks after a baby. But it will not be a practical option for most families until the new paternity leave is properly paid. The Government should build on this first step and move more quickly to support properly the huge social change that sees fathers now doing one third of the parental childcare of the under-fives. (EOC)

“Latest research shows how confident mothers feel in their partners and how keen they are to see paternity leave extended. The research shows that dads are typically very sensitive with babies, want to care more for them and that positive fatherhood involvement is extremely good for children. We hope that today’s announcement is one step towards unlocking the huge potential of fatherhood for children.”

Notes to Editors

Fathers Direct is the national information centre on fatherhood, an independent charity founded in 1999 to promote close and positive relationships between men and their children. It publishes the awarding-winning site www.fatherhoodinstitute.org and provides training, conferences, guides and briefings on fatherhood. Media inquiries: Jack O’Sullivan 01608 737125/ 07779 655585 j.osullivan@fathersdirect.com

Fathers Direct, Herald House, Lambs Passage, Bunhill Row, London EC1Y 8TQ. www.fatherhoodinstitute.org

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