Labour has announced that if it wins the election it will double the amount of paternity leave that new fathers currently have from 2 to 4 weeks.
Ed Miliband has also said that he will increase the statutory paternity to £260 per week. Fathers are currently eligible for two weeks’ paternity leave paid at the statutory rate of £138.18 a week.
Currently only 55% of fathers take off the 2 weeks mainly due to financial pressures but this new rate would be equivalent to a forty hour week if a person was on the minimum wage.
Ed Miliband has said in a speech “At the same time as women are under pressure in their careers, more fathers want to play a hands-on role in childcare, particularly in those first crucial weeks of a child’s life”
A senior policy adviser at the National Childbirth Trust said “As well as the difference it will make for mums, the more that dads are able to engage with their baby in the early days the better their bond will be, so we want to see all political parties committing to policies like this that will give fathers more time with their new families.”
The estimated cost of this new policy is £150 million per annum.
Some small businesses have already said that this could affect them with new fathers taking off extra time from work.
What is your view? How much time off did your husband have when you had a baby? Do you think new fathers should have paternity leave and pay nearly doubled?