Majority Of Fathers Can't Afford To Take Their Full Paternity Leave In The UK, Shows Dire New Report

Nearly 70% of fathers weren't physically ready to return to work after paternity leave.
Mature father kissing baby in carrier at home
Johner Images via Getty Images
Mature father kissing baby in carrier at home

A huge number of fathers took two weeks or less for paternity leave because they couldn’t afford to be off work.

In a survey conducted by Pregnant Then Screwed in partnership with Women In Data® it was found that 70.6% of fathers did not use their full entitlement due to financial restrictions.

The research comes amid changes in paternity leave law which means from April 6, fathers will be able to take their paternity leave split into two, one week blocks. Though this has faced criticism from campaigners as it does not look at increasing paternity leave for fathers.

In fact, Pregnant Then Screwed is calling for Paternity Leave to be increased to 6 weeks paid at 90% of salary.

Currently, the statutory entitlement to paternity leave is two weeks, and the weekly rate for paternity pay is £172.48 a week or 90% of your salary (whichever is lower).

Alongside this, only 32.3% of fathers who took paternity leave said they were physically ready to return to work.

Earlier this week Richard James, a News Editor at i Paper revealed he had to go part-time and sacrifice 40% of his salary due to the parental guilt he faced, and paternity leave was not enough.

Joeli Brearley CEO and Founder of Pregnant Then Screwed said: “Paternity leave isn’t a break from work, it isn’t a holiday – it is crucial bonding time. We know that paternity leave has huge benefits for the whole family: children do better in the education system, and there is research to suggest they have better physical health.

“Paternity leave reduces the divorce rate – couples are more likely to stay together. It has benefits for the physical and mental health of mothers, and we know that many dads are desperate to spend more time with their children. When fathers and partners take paternity leave, it supports the mother’s return to the labour market. We need a parental leave system which recognises and supports the crucial role dads play in families.”