Paternity Leave a Labouring Issue: Over half of employees support more rights for mums than dads

September 2004
Management Services;Sep2004, Vol. 48 Issue 9, p6
Academic Journal
This article deals with a survey on the attitude of businesses towards the appeal of the Equal Opportunities Commission in Great Britain for better paid leave and more flexible working hours for fathers. 54 percent of human resource professionals surveyed by Croner do not think that a father's right to paternity leave should be made equal to maternity leave. Legislation introduced on April 6, 2003 entitles eligible new fathers to two weeks leave with Statutory Paternity Pay. Mothers are entitled to up to 52 weeks of maternity leave with statutory maternity pay (SMP) being payable for the first 26 weeks. SMP is payable at the rate of 90 percent of the employee's earnings for the first six weeks. Although 46 percent of respondents to the survey carried out on Croner's Web site think fathers should have the same rights as mums, Croner is advising employers that the Government is unlikely to extend paternity leave entitlement. Additional parental rights exist for employees with over one year's service and who have parental responsibilities for a child. They are entitled to unpaid parental leave of up to 13 weeks for each child under the age of five. Croner is advising employers to keep up to date with paternity, maternity and parental rights; clearly communicate all parental rights to staff; encourage staff to be proactive--plan well ahead and request leave as soon as they know the projected date of birth in order for cover arrangements to be made; and support and encourage employees, both fathers and mothers, to take their full entitlement if they wish to do so.


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