28/03/2011 05:11 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

UK Is 'One Of The Least Family-Friendly Countries In The World'

UK famiy The UK is one of the least family-friendly countries in the world, says a new study from the Fatherhood Institute.

It reveals that that conditions for equal parenting in the UK are the fourth worst out of 21 countries measured. Only Japan, Austria and Switzerland fared worse overall.

Men in Sweden, which came top in the table, were eligible for 40 weeks' full-time paid paternity leave, compared with just two days for their British counterparts.

The UK has a wider gender pay gap and less paid paternity leave than other nations, it says.

The Institute claims that a family-friendly UK is a long way off. Chief executive Rob Williams said: "The fairness in families index gives a benchmark for where Britain stands in terms of how far policies allow families to share parenting and be more 'equal'.

"Parents' choices are restricted by an outdated distinction between fathers as breadwinners and mothers as homemakers. There is clearly a long way to go if we are to become 'the most family-friendly country in Europe' as the Coalition has pledged."

The institute lobbies for greater involvement by fathers in children's lives. It said it used Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development data on 10 indicators and had the results validated by an international panel.

Mr Williams said: "We need to establish a better framework in the UK to support equal earning and caring. Much more needs to be done to make families fairer - and getting the paternity leave system right is a good place to start."

A study published in April suggested the number of fathers who cared for children full-time had jumped" style="border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; overflow: hidden; border-left: medium none; width: 450px; border-bottom: medium none; height: 35px">
Related links on Parentdish:

Fathers to get up to six months paternity leave

Half of men don't take paternity leave

What do you think? Do you feel this country is increasingly family friendly - or still a long way to go?