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Ben Foden urges men to share parental leave

England rugby player Ben Foden is fronting a campaign urging dads to play a bigger role in raising their babies.


A law allowing parents to split time off after having a baby comes into force on April 5.

The 29-year-old says parents should take advantage of this new law that lets them share time off work.

He said: ‘‘In this day and age, women can just as easily be the main breadwinner as men. Why should they have to give up their careers when they have children?”

Foden and his wife Una have a two-year-old daughter, Aoife, and are expecting a son next month.

The law is designed to give parents and carers more flexibility in how to share the care of their child in the first year following birth or adoption.

It means the allowance of 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay can be shared between mother and father.

At the moment men are only given two weeks paternity leave.

Around 285,000 working couples a year will be eligible to share their leave according to Government projections.

CEO of the Family Matters Institute Chris Muwanguzi said: “Because of socio-economic factors, more men have told us it makes more financial sense for them to take on a primary care giving role whilst their partners who earn more can return to work.

“We hope shared parental leave will also demonstrate the importance of engaging with father.”

BUT a recent survey of 2,000 men and women in work and under 50 by job site Glassdoor found 42 per cent of men would still rather take the minimum period allowed.

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