Ed Miliband Announces Plans To Double Paternity Leave Time Off And Pay

9 February 2015

Did your partner take paternity leave when your child was born?

Or was he one of the estimated 45% of new dads who didn't take paternity leave, because the rate of pay causes too many financial pressures at a time when the household purse-strings were already stretched?

Labour leader Ed Miliband has today announced plans to double the amount of paid paternity leave that new dads can take, from two weeks to... drum roll please... four weeks.

Now excuse me if my tone gives away the fact that I'm less than impressed by the new deal for dads, but increasing statutory paternity pay to £260 a week still only makes it equal to minimum wage.

Call me a cynic, but if only 55% of dads are taking paternity leave at present, I can't imagine that the prospect of a month on minimum wage is going to win them over, either.

Critics have also pointed out that employers may be adversely affected by the proposed 'Father's Month', with it amounting to a tax on business.

I'm more in favour of the shared parental leave which the Liberal Democrats plans to put into effect later on this year. In an ideal world, I'd love to see mums and dads treated equally when it comes to taking leave after the birth of a child, with both partners being able to decide how much time they take off during the first year of the child's life.

Is that really too much to ask?

We'd love to hear your views over on our Facebook page. How did paternity leave pan out in your house, and what do you make of Ed Miliband's latest scheme to win over parents ahead of the general election? (I told you I was a cynic...)

TOPICS:   Paternity leave

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