Recent surveys have shown the many dads are not aware of their paternity rights. This has certain bearing as it means many men are not benefiting from the rights accorded to them and are missing out on irreplaceable time with their new born and children.
The issue is also down to the fact that many men are reluctant or unsure as to whether to approach their employer to discuss their paternity rights and check whether their employer might have added arrangements to help fathers balance their job with their life and family.
A law was passed in April 2011 which enabled mother’s to transfer half of their long maternity leave to the father. However, the issue remains whether fathers can afford to take such time off especially considering that many household and families still depend on the father’s income as his accounts for the bigger and main source. However, as the income gap between males and females narrow, it may be possible for men to consider their paternity leave.
Paternity rights across the EU mean those fathers are entitled to paternity leave. However, paternity leave is of just two weeks- paid. Many fathers do not however, take advantage of this leave even if they actually aware of it. Paternity leave means father are entitled to £123.06 a week; many father, under the strains of bank loans and the demands of a family cannot even consider taking these two weeks leave.
Moreover, to benefit from this, fathers must have been employed with their current employer at the time they request leave for a minimum 26 weeks. Moreover, the 26 week employment period cannot go beyond the 15th week before the due date of the baby.
A breath of fresh air might be close as the Equality and Human Rights Commission are pushing for the 2 week paternity leave to include 90% of the father’s salary.
Paternity rights are still very much at the centre of debates. Many argue that these have been put on the back burner however, it is yet to be seen whether there will be changes and what these might be.