Dads could get 5.5 months' paid paternity leave

Fathers could get the right to as much as five and a half months’ paid leave thanks to an overhaul of the parental leave system.

The coalition government has announced that it will add just over half a year’s paid leave to new mums and dads.

At the moment, new mums can take 12 months off of work, with nine of those being paid. Dads get just two weeks paid leave.

The new scheme would entitle new mums to five months’ paid leave whilst giving dads an extra four weeks, giving them six weeks of paternity leave in total. The couple will then get another seven months of leave – four of which will be paid – to divide up between them.

Dads could get five and a half months’ paid leave if they use up some of their partner’s entitlement. What’s more, they could also take another three months’ worth of unpaid leave on top if the mum goes back to work after five months.

The couple could also take six months off work together, and bosses will not be allowed to refuse requests for time off. The scheme has been designed, in part, to prevent discrimination against mothers in the recruitment process.

Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, said when announcing the plans: “These measures are fairer for fathers and maintain the existing entitlements for mothers - but crucially give parents much greater choice over how to balance their work and family commitments.

"But I'm also confident that we have a good case to make on the wider benefits to business - not least from a motivated and flexible workforce.”





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