Statutory paternity leave and pay should "double to encourage take-up"

Institute for Public Policy Research said the low pay means only 55% of new dads use up their two weeks leave

New fathers should have their paternity leave and pay doubled, a think tank has said, to encourage them to spend more time with their newborns.

It’s an issue that will resonate with not only fathers’ rights charities, but those keen to adopt a slightly more Scandinavian model of parental leave.

In plans compiled by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), new dads would receive four weeks’ leave paid at the national minimum wage – rather than the two weeks’ leave currently afforded to them at the equivalent of £3.45 an hour for a 40-hour week.

The researchers said that the dramatic loss of pay was one of the key reasons that only 55 per cent of new dads took the full two weeks, receiving a standard £138.18 per week.

Should the changes be implemented, take-up for paternity leave would increase to around 70 per cent, IPPR said. The think tank also suggested that dads be entitled to four, not the current two, paid leave days for antenatal appointments.

It was revealed today that Ed Miliband is keen to adopt IPPR’s recommendations, expecting to deliver a report on Thursday supporting a “daddy leave month” at an annual cost of £150million to the treasury, according to The Sunday Times.

"[It] is often difficult for fathers because they have limited entitlements to paid leave, and so they often assume the role of breadwinner while their partner is on maternity leave,” senior research fellow, Kayte Lawton, said.

"Fathers who take more than a few days off around the birth of their child are more likely to be actively involved in raising their child than those who do not.

"Fathers' greater involvement in family life can make it easier for mothers to return to work after taking maternity leave, which helps to raise the family's income and lessen the impact of motherhood on women's careers."

A shared parental leave scheme is scheduled to come into force next year, which will allow new parents to mix and match 52 weeks of leave - for example if the mother transfers her allowance to her partner should she wish to return to work sooner.

However, it was revealed last month that a third of fathers would not even consider taking the new shared leave because the pay is too low, according to the National Childbirth Trust (NCT).

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss