shared parental leave
Can Shared Parental Leave make a difference? Many are sceptical. They argue that examples from other European countries show that unless you specifically reserve leave for dads on a 'use it or lose it' basis, as they do in Iceland, they are unlikely to take it.
On the one hand, there is progress for individual women, which must be a good thing, but on the other discrimination continues, in part because there are more women staying in the workforce after having children.
Father's Day is all done and dusted for another year. The card shops have moved on and all those surveys of what dads want have been published. Last week saw the usual plethora of polls and research published about dads at work.
New shared parental leave legislation is shaking up the way mums and dads share childcare for their babies. A father's right
In the next parliament Liberal Democrats want to start a dad revolution by tripling paternity leave to encourage new dads to spend more time with their child in those vital early weeks and months after birth. Most fathers want to spend more time with their new baby - and we know it makes a positive difference for children when they do. We also want to extend free early years education to all two year olds. We know that pressure to budget for childcare costs doesn't just start when a child is two years old, and that the costs can prevent parents from returning to work.
The UK is not at the vanguard of parental equality. The imbalance between mothers' and fathers' leave in the UK is among the highest in the OECD. But a rare benefit of lagging behind more forward-thinking nations is that we can wait to see what works (and shamelessly copy it).
If men and women share parenting, so that they are equally likely to take extended parental leave, and need to accommodate childcare arrangements, then the departure of mothers on maternity leave stops being a sexist problem.
Since the late 1970s when women started to return to work after having a family, the workplace has been forced to adapt to a larger and more senior female population. This has led to maternity leave, childcare vouchers, and a more flexible approach to working.
Mums and adopters will have real choice about when they return to work, dads will have more time to bond with their children, children will have better outcomes, while employers will benefit from lower staff turnover and having a workforce that is more flexible and motivated. And who wouldn't want that?