Target well-paid parental leave directly at dads, says Fatherhood Institute

15 September 2009

In response to the government’s announcement to allow mothers to transfer some of their maternity entitlement to fathers, Rob Williams, Chief Executive of the Fatherhood Institute said:

“We welcome the recognition that fathers are important to their children, and the government’s commitment to encouraging fathers to be more involved in their care.

“But whilst it is a step in the right direction, we are concerned that take-up amongst fathers will be low. There is no real incentive package and what is being offered will either be unpaid or paid at a very low rate so few families will be able to afford for fathers to take it up. In addition, there is a risk that some poorer families will miss out altogether, for instance where mothers are not entitled to maternity pay and therefore have no rights to transfer over.

“We would like to see the government make the entitlement to leave available to fathers in their own right, and develop a model similar to that used in Germany, Norway, and many other European countries, where a significant amount of leave – paid at a reasonable rate – is specifically available to just the father.”

To read about the Fatherhood Institute’s proposals for parental leave, click here.