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Proposals to double the length of paid paternity leave – will it make any difference?

Lib Dems and Labour pledge to double length of paid paternity leave

The Liberal Democrats have announced plans to double working fathers’ entitlement to paid paternity leave from 2 weeks to 4 weeks ahead of the general election next month. According to the Liberal Democrat’s, an increase in paid paternity leave would encourage more men to spend time with their children which it believes would help motivate the workforce and ultimately benefit British businesses.Labour is widely expected to follow suit when they release their manifesto and may even look to increase the rate of paternity pay.Whilst this policy is to be welcomed, I remain sceptical about the likely uptake from working fathers. We have already seen the poor level of uptake of shared parental leave and pay, thanks in large part to fathers continuing to be the main bread winners. Government figures confirm that only 2-8% of eligible working fathers have taken up shared parental leave which begs the question how many of them would be interested in enhanced paternity leave and pay?

Russell Brown

Author Russell Brown

Russell is a Partner and Head of Glaisyers' Employment Team.

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