WORK More men given paternity leave - but only a few days

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The Independent Online
Fathers are increasingly being given time off when their children are born, but usually only for a few days, according to a new survey. Almost three out of five firms at present allowed for paternity leave, with half offering five days or less.

But with Labour signing up to the social chapter and an impending European directive on parental leave, the number of firms offering leave is expected to rise, along with the number of days offered, according to the Institute of Personnel and Development.

Its survey of 300 personnel officers showed that 57 per cent of firms offered paternity leave. Doug Gummery, IPD policy advisor, said firms without paternity leave arrangements should review their arrangements, especially in view of the incoming European directive.

"Paternity leave recognises that men have a parental role which extends beyond providing their families with a regular pay packet. It gives them the opportunity to reconcile their work responsibilities with their family obligations, allowing them to be more than a peripheral part of a very important family event."