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DAD.info | Opinion | Latest News | Labour promise paternity leave boost

Labour promise paternity leave boost

It’s currently two weeks that fathers are given by their employer for paternity leave but Labour says that could change.

 

It is planning a significant boost to paternity leave if it wins the general election in May.

The move would mean that fathers have double the leave they are currently entitled to, allowing them the opportunity to take up to four weeks off to spend time with their newborn.

Leader Ed Miliband has also pledged to increase statutory paternity pay by more than £120 a week to £260 a week.

He said: “The Tories want to spend £700 million on what they call a married couple’s allowance but which in fact will go to just one in five families with children.

“Instead, at the heart of Labour’s plan is the belief that Britain succeeds when modern working families succeed.

“That means giving dads, as well as mums, the chance to spend more time at home in those crucial weeks after babies have been born.”

Labour claims the reforms, during what it is calling the “father’s month”, will benefit up to 400,000 families a year.

Research from the IPPR think tank, cited by Labour, suggests offering four weeks paid paternity leave will cost £150m a year, assuming take-up rises from 55 per cent to 70 per cent.

Under the current Government new mothers expecting a baby on or after 5 April 2015 are allowed to share up to 50 weeks of maternity leave and 37 weeks of pay with their partners.

It gives flexibility to couples and could see the father opt to take the entire 50 weeks of shared parental leave or to just take an extra three or four weeks at home just after baby is born.

Parenting is a shared endeavour and many fathers understandably want to spend more time at home when they are adapting to the demands of a new baby.

The shared parental leave campaign is being backed by Northampton Saints rugby player Ben Foden who is calling on other fathers to take more time off to ensure their wives’ earning potential isn’t hit by having a child.

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