Plans are on the table to give fathers the right to four weeks paid paternity leave
Paid paternity leave should be doubled so that fathers can spend at least a month with their new born children, according to Children's Minister Beverley Hughes.
The proposal comes from a collection of essays, Politics for a New Generation, which sets out a progressive agenda for Britain as a new Prime Minister takes office.Seven out of ten fathers say they would like to spend more time with their children than they currently do and evidence shows that when fathers are actively involved in their child's first weeks they are much more likely to stay closely engaged throughout their child's life, even if they end up separating from the child's mother.
Research shows that children with an actively involved father have better behaviour and improved attainment at school. There is also evidence that where fathers play an active role at home there is a knock on effect on the quality and stability of the relationship between parents.
As part of a package of measures to support strong families in the modern world, the Children's Minister also says the rates of maternity and paternity pay should be progressively increased and that the right to 13 weeks of parental leave should be a paid entitlement. She also argues that all jobs should be advertised as part-time, job-share or flexi-time unless there is a sound business case not to.
The Children's Minister also argues that extending the right to request flexible working to all of Britain's 29 million employees would particularly help parents to balance work around their children, rather than their children around their work, and make it easier for mothers and fathers to share these commitments together.
She goes on to say "I am proud that the government has already extended maternity leave and introduced paid paternity leave, but we must go further. It is not government's job to bring up children, but there is more we can do to help parents to realise their aspirations and do the best they can for their children."
"Things are changing for women at work but fathers who want to work flexibly and play an active role in their child's life are not being encouraged and valued by enough of their employers. This has to change."