Men reluctant to use new paternity rights

Four in ten men will not be using their new right to become daycare daddies, mainly because they think it will affect their career, according to a new study.

A survey of 100 men by website uSwitch.com showed that while most men welcome the changes that come into place April 3, meaning new fathers can take up to six months paternity leave if their partner returns to work, nearly half are afraid of doing so for fear of losing their job.

Consumer policy expert at uSwitch.com, Ann Robinson, said: ‘The Government may have recognised that fathers today are a lot more hands-on than they may have been in the past, but putting legislation in to support this is only part of the battle. The biggest fight will be to change social opinion, fears and prejudices and this is not going to happen overnight.

’However, the biggest reason for men not taking paternity leave in the past, and to not be doing so in the future, is money. Unfortunately, the same financial constraints that force new mums back to work before they are ready will also deprive fathers of the option of spending more time with their new baby. Sadly, the financial realities of modern life will prevent many men from being the hands-on fathers they would like to be.

’With child trust funds cut and the removal of child benefits for high rate tax payers, family finances are under more pressure than ever.’

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