Fathers and the workplace: Paternal leave improved rights for fathers
The Women and Equalities Committee has published a report, Fathers and the workplace, calling for improved rights for fathers at work in relation to paternity leave.
What are the recommendations from the Women and Equalities Committee?
- The government should consider replacing shared parental leave and pay with a separate right for fathers to take a period of paternal leave in their own right, without affecting the mother’s entitlements to maternity leave and pay. A period of 12 weeks' leave is suggested, available in the first year after the child’s birth, paid at 90 per cent of salary for the first four weeks (with a cap for higher earners), and the remaining eight weeks paid at statutory levels.
- The current right to two weeks’ paternity leave should become a day one right, paid at 90% of earnings (subject to a cap for high earners). Currently 26 weeks’ service is required and it is paid at the statutory rate (£145.18) or 90% of earnings, if lower.
- Fathers should be given a day one right to paid time off to attend antenatal appointments. Currently fathers have the right to take time off to attend two antenatal appointments (up to 6.5 hours each) but there is no express right to be paid.
- Legislation to ensure that all new jobs are advertised as flexible, unless there are solid business reasons not to.
- The Government should consider making “paternity” a protected characteristic and looks at what period such a characteristic would cover and to which groups of working fathers it would apply.
The full Fathers and workplace report can be viewed here.
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