Nearly half of new fathers don’t know they are allowed to take parental leave after the birth of a child

Britain’s working dads are missing out on parental leave they are entitled to, according to a new report.

Nearly half of new fathers don’t know they are allowed to take parental leave after the birth of a child – and one in ten takes NO time off work whatsoever.

And Aviva, who polled 2,000 UK parents of dependent children under the age of 16, said many fathers felt “overlooked and under-supported by their employer”.

The research showed that most (56%) dads took less than a month off work after the arrival of a baby, although they currently are entitled by the Government to a total of 18 weeks.

Nine out of ten respondents believe both parents should be given equal leave rights.

Eight out of ten (86%) fathers said they would have taken more time off but felt restricted by financial factors and employer restraints.

And 46% of working fathers said they were unaware they are entitled to take shared leave on the arrival of a child.

Sarah Morris, Chief People Officer for Aviva, said: “Working and looking after children means a constant juggling act and it’s clear that many fathers feel overlooked and under-supported by their employer in this respect. Progress is being made, but our research suggests there’s still a way to go.

“Family-friendly working policies can offer huge benefits to employers and workers alike, whether this means extended parental leave, flexible working, or options for job shares.

“We hope to see more employers introducing inclusive policies for both men and women, to help working parents strike a balance and get the most out of their lives, inside and outside work.”

  • Mat is a writer with an interest in public opinion research. He has a passion for stories covering lifestyle, travel and technology.

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