Being Dad New Dad

Paternity leave: are dads missing out?

paternity leave
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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

A new study shows that dads in the UK are missing out on paternity leave compared to other countries.

According to law firm First4laywers, 28 countries have better paternity leave benefits than us in the UK. Here, fathers are entitled to just 10 working days off at 80% pay.

Shared parental leave was introduced in the UK in 2015, giving parents the right to split up to 52 weeks between them. But research cited by the law firm shows that only 1% of dads have taken up the benefit.

Sweden rules

Dishearteningly for UK dads, plenty of other countries offer paternity leave at 100% of pay and offer more than the UK’s two weeks’ leave. Sweden tops the list as the kindest country, offering 18 weeks’ paternity leave. There, parents are entitled to stay at home with their newborn for a total of 480 days while receiving 80% of their wage. First4laywers say 14% of couples share parental leave in Sweden

Similarly, Iceland and Slovenia offer 12 weeks’ paternity leave at either 80% or 100%. While Finland offers 11 weeks’ leave at 70%.

Dr Melanie Smart at Chichester Child Psychology says: “Paternal attachment to baby (bonding) is often forgotten or side-lined. Mums often take the main caregiver role and are therefore seen as the primary attachment figure for a new-borns. Yet dads have a huge role to play in their family’s lives at this point and onwards.”

It’s not all bad 

But the research also showed that 43 countries across the world don’t offer paternity leave to new dads. And that parental leave is nearly always used solely by the mother. This is an issue for new dads trying to develop a strong bond during the early days of their child being born.

However, you might think about changing careers and getting a job at Netflix. They allow full-paid paternity and maternity leave for up to one year.

Just think of all the box sets you can watch in your time off.