subscribe: Posts | Comments

Fathers to get one year paternity leave

1 comment

Fathers will be able to take up to a year off work after the birth of their baby.

The government plans to introduce a new law next year to allow mothers who are the main breadwinner of a household to go back to work after 2 weeks, allowing the father to claim “flexible parental leave”, The Daily Telegraph has reported.

This move could potentially benefit up to 420,000 families every year.

“The increased flexibility will offer families real choices about managing work and caring responsibilities” said Maternity Action, a charity that gives advice to new parents and pregnant women.

Ceri Goddard, chief executive of the Fawcett Society described the changes as a “radical step” that would “challenge employers’ discrimination” against female workers.

Ministers outlined plans to give mothers 18 weeks paid leave after birth, with an additional 30 weeks to be shared between parents.

The scheme is not expected to be implemented until after the next general election, due to disagreements about the impact on UK businesses.

One Conservative minister commented, ““The last thing businesses, particularly small businesses, should be saddled with at the moment is yet another round of regulation and uncertainty.

“They should just be left to get on with building their companies and helping get the economy going”.

It is thought that the scheme was blocked initially by Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, and Oliver Letwin, the Cabinet Minister. However Theresa May, the Home Secretary and Nick Clegg were “keen to push ahead”.

Vince Cable was initially sceptical about the plans, but is now supportive after his department claimed that the burden on business would be marginal .

A spokeswoman for Maternity Action commented, “We are mystified at claims that this is a burden on business. The proposals allow families to share existing entitlements. Many people are unaware that statutory maternity pay is reimbursed by government and the same arrangements apply to shared parental leave.”

  1. I am concerned that mothers are the parent who is first to spend a year at home with the new baby. Babies develop within their mom, thus reality for the baby is mom’s breathing patterns, her voice, her movements. For mom, reality has been, for nine months, being two people, continually having her body change and grow with the baby, taking risks to her own health often, to have a baby. Thus, this pair need considerable time together when the baby is out of the womb and learning trust and love, which up until birth IS the safety and warmth of mom. To be snatched away from mom for long periods of time, or for essential activities causes the baby to feel lost, when the baby needs most to feel that she/he has not been abandoned by mom.
    I support more involvement in family life by dads, but this should be done gradually, with a different focus from that of the mom, and with care to not cause the baby to be too far from mom in the first year. I know this is not a popular view, but it is based on baby, not on parents’ needs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *