Nearly half of dads take 10 days or less off with newborns

A new survey shows dads are missing out on parental leave due to workload and concerns about finances.

Mad in a suit kisses his wife and child at the door as he leaves


Almost half of new dads took 10 days or less in paternity leave, with 15% saying they took no leave at all, mainly because of financial problems and workload, according to a new survey.

The survey of 1,000 dads by OnePoll for insurer Zurich shows just under half (49%) said they took between 11-14 days statutory paternity leave, 30% took between 4-10 days though 15% said that they took no time off at all.  Dads who are employees and have been with their employer for more than 26 weeks can choose to take one or two weeks off work for paternity leave. They may qualify for statutory paternity pay of £148.68 if they meet certain criteria on earnings and give the proper notice. Some employers provide longer paternity leave and enhance pay.

Of those surveyed who didn’t take statutory paternity leave, almost half (45%) said they couldn’t afford to take the drop in their pay for two weeks.  A further fifth (23%) said that this was down to a heavy workload.

Forty per cent said that, on returning to work, they didn’t feel they’d spent enough time with their new family and 67% said that in an ideal world they would choose up to 20 weeks and 25% would take over 21 weeks. Seven in 10 dads felt either somewhat or strongly that new fathers tend to suffer emotionally and mentally after the birth of a child and juggling the demands of returning to work.

When asked if they’d take 16 weeks paid paternity leave if it was offered by their employer, the overwhelming majority (77%) said yes and that they’d love to spend it with their new family.

The findings come as Zurich publishes its new ‘family friendly’ policies for its 4,500 UK employees.  This includes: up to 16 weeks full-pay for all parents; support for families whose children are born prematurely with additional paid leave for the premature period; paid leave to support through the IVF process; paid leave to support people with miscarriage; a refreshed policy for those with caring responsibilities; and a new bereavement and compassionate leave policy.


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