Researchers at the University of Cambridge argue that employers should cut hours rather...read more
The UK is lagging behind many of its European neighbours when it comes to paternity leave policies, according to a study by First4lawyers.
Currently, new full-time working fathers in the UK receive two working weeks (10 days) paternity leave with their new-born child at 80% pay. They can also take Shared Parental Leave, but research shows take-up is very low. Part of the reason is that it is generally paid at £140.98 per week and then unpaid for the final three months.
First4lawyers says research shows that 28 countries have better paternity leave and pay schemes than the UK with most offering leave on 100% pay usually capped to a specific level. Several offer longer leave than the UK.
Dads in Sweden receive a total of 18 weeks paternity leave. Parents are also entitled to stay at home with their child for a total of 480 days while receiving 80% of their salary and 90 of those days are reserved specially for dads. In 2014 a quarter of the total parental leave was taken by dads.
Fathers in Iceland receive a total of 12 weeks’ paternity leave specifically for new dads at 80% pay. Slovenia has a similar scheme of 12 weeks’ paternity leave, with two of those weeks set at 100% paid and then the remaining at 80%.
Lithuania offers a scheme of four weeks leave to new fathers, at 100% pay.
First4lawyers says 43 countries across the world do not offer paternity leave to new dads.
Andrew Cullwick, spokesperson at First4lawyers says: “The UK’s paternity pay should match the majority of Europe’s at 100% paid. This would give families the peace of mind that they can enjoy their time off with their newborn with no financial impact. In relation to paternity leave, two weeks at 80% paid is not enough. A small increase to four weeks at 100% paid would help new dads not only support the mothers but also give them the time needed to build a lasting bond with their child”.