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Parents Dissatisfied with Paternity Leave Package

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

A new ‘Paternity League’ Table has been released by childcare service Koru Kids.

It shines a spotlight on the most and least generous paternity leave packages that the UK companies on Glassdoor’s ‘Top 50 Best Places to Work 2022’ offer.

It serves to highlight how workplaces need to step up their game and help level the playing field when it comes to parental leave and family-friendly workplace policies. 

This comes as research commissioned by Koru Kids reveals almost half (46%) of parents with young children were dissatisfied with their/their partner’s paternity leave package. The top reasons include not being given enough time off (73%), being displeased with their pay (59%) and a lack of flexibility upon returning to work (28%).

A staggering 76% of fathers and non-birthing parents were offered just two weeks’ leave by their employer – the current minimum statutory requirement in the UK – which is scant when compared with the 52-week entitlement rightly given for maternity leave.

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And, according to the findings, inadequate paternity leave has a knock-on effect on all aspects of family life. Over half of parents revealed it negatively impacted their mental health (56%), while a quarter (24%) say their physical health suffered as a result. A third of dads/non-birthing partners (34%) also said that their relationship suffered, whilst a further third (32%) commented they were left feeling financially unstable. 

What’s more, there is a huge knock-on effect on mothers and primary caregivers. Worryingly, 73% of mothers surveyed say they felt abandoned during such a vulnerable time, whilst more than two-thirds (67%) had to take on the majority of household chores and childcare duties alone. 

In fact, 80% of parents believe that the unequal maternity/paternity leave policies in the UK reinforce traditional gender stereotypes, where the mother adopts a homemaking role while the father returns to work.

Perhaps most concerning is the impact that it can have on the child. Three in five (62%) mums surveyed say they felt their partner struggled to create a bond with their new baby due to a lack of time off. And over half (52%) of parents said their child didn’t receive enough attention during those crucial first months. 

Koru Kids has partnered with The Fatherhood Institute, to encourage more discussions around paternity leave and combat gender inequality as a result of having a child, as a third (35%) of parents surveyed felt employers didn’t do enough to support them through paternity leave. 

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