Paternity pay prevents dads taking time off, says survey

Only 40% of organisations offer working fathers two weeks’ pay at or near the full rate of pay, while 24% offer no paid paternity leave beyond the two-week statutory level, according to a new survey.

Only 40% of organisations offer working fathers two weeks’ pay at or near the full rate of pay, while 24% offer no paid paternity leave beyond the two-week statutory level, according to a new survey.
 
The quarterly report from KPMG and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) shows that a quarter of employers offer no paid paternity leave above the statutory arrangements. The most common paternity leave policy is two weeks’ paid paternity leave at or near the full rate of pay, although there is a disparity between the proportion of public sector employers (57%) and private sector firms (31%) that offer two weeks’ paid paternity leave.
 
Just 6% of employers offer paid paternity leave beyond two weeks.  According to the survey, bosses are more likely to enhance maternity pay than paternity pay. The most common maternity policy is to grant leave for more than 16 weeks at or near the full rate of pay (22%). Two in five (39%) public sector organisations offer this, compared with only 15% of private sector companies. Private sector employers are most likely (19%) to offer new working mothers paid maternity leave for up to five weeks at or near the full rate of pay, followed by one–six weeks at or near half the full rate of pay. One in ten organisations (11%) grant paid maternity leave for six–11 weeks at or near the full rate of pay, followed by six–12 weeks at or near half the full rate of pay.
 
Both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats committed to some form of shared parental leave during the election. The Conservatives pledged to introduce a new system of Flexible Parental Leave which would allow parents to share paid maternity leave. They said the first fourteen weeks of paid maternity leave would apply to the mother and it would be up to the parents how to use the remaining paid maternity leave period. Parents who simultaneously took leave would be eligible for double the rate of statutory maternity pay during the period of concurrent leave.
 
Commenting on the report’s findings Mike Emmott, employee relations adviser for the CIPD, said: “If flexible parental leave is going to become a reality, we need a step-change in the reward policies of UK organisations that encourages more fathers to take their statutory rights. This is something that will only be achieved through cultural change – and legislation is emphatically not the answer. The new Government will have to think imaginatively if it is to nudge and lead this change.”
 
Sarah Bond, head of diversity and employee engagement at KPMG, said that, whilst a system of flexible parental leave would be welcomed by employees struggling to balance their work and life, businesses would have to step up to meet the demands of their workforce: “Research indicates that the demands on those caring for children will rise in the next ten years. The number of carers will undoubtedly alter the working pattern of both women and men in the years to come. Therefore, progressive businesses are going to have to look very carefully at the family support packages they offer to see whether they mirror these changing trends. There are real incentives for businesses here too – more and more talented people with parenting and caring responsibilities – fathers as well as mothers – seek out best practice employers that enable people to balance their work and family lives.” 




Comments [1]

  • Anonymous says:

    Would love to spend two weeks with my son/daughter but if I want to keep a roof over its head I will have to miss out on this part of my life unless I use holidays. How can the government justify this little payment which is a quarter of my weekly wage and maybe less for others in the same position. is it any wonder guys don't take this time off. never mind their partner/wife will be exhausted and need the rest.


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