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Call for immediate help from one of our team 01622 47 41 49

Call for immediate help from one of our team 01622 47 41 49

Call for immediate help from one of our team 01622 47 41 49

General Business
Managing People
Employment & HR

Paternity Leave For Fathers

Primed Team
7 June 2024 3 minutes

Perhaps if you’re reading this, a big congratulations is in order! Here we will deliver the essentials for soon to be Dads when considering paternity leave and how to offer support in the workplace.

For parents-to-be, a birth or adoption is the start of something amazing! With more men opting to take time off to support their new families, this is a great opportunity to share some information about how to address paternity leave.

According to People Management, studies show that many fathers find it challenging to take on parental roles, struggling with both the practical and emotional aspects. Navigating formal policies and communicating with HR proved difficult, leading them to negotiate flexibility and time off directly with their managers instead. An absence of role models for extended parental leave adds to the difficulties for working dads, compelling them to pave the way for future generations.

How can organisations support male employees who choose to buck the trend and wish to spend more time at home?

An initial step would be to ensure that policies address mums and dads similarly the same way for flexible working requests and parental leave. Currently, statutory entitlement only allows fathers to take either 1 or 2 weeks of leave, whereas mothers can take up to a year. Additionally, all policies should be communicated clearly so that all employees feel informed and confident about their rights.

Think about how you could enhance your policies to create a truly family friendly workplace. Maybe establish a consultation group with both mums and dads, how could guidelines be improved?

Workplaces should support their managers through talks and training to develop new perspectives on the role of fathers. This will help shift lingering stereotypical biases.

Let’s examine the statutory support currently in place that workplaces must adhere to. While these regulations set the baseline, organisations are encouraged to go above and beyond to address gender imbalances:

In April this year, we saw a few changes to the paternity regulations which included allowing fathers to split their paternity leave into two blocks of one week. Additionally, they only have to give 28 days notice, rather than the previous 15 weeks.

Paternity leave can start on the child’s birthdate or the day a child is placed for adoption, or on a pre-arranged date with your employer. If pre-arranged, leave must be completed within 56 days of the birth or adoption. Fathers are additionally entitled to attend two prenatal appointments.

Good news! Your employment rights are protected while on paternity leave. So if there is a pay rise in the near future or you’re building up some holiday time, you’re in the safe zone and you can relax in this knowledge. There’s also the possibility of shared parental leave, check out the Government website for more information.

Acas states that employers must not cause an employee ‘detriment’ for taking, or planning to take, paternity leave. If an employee feels they’ve experienced detriment because of paternity leave, they could go as far as taking the claim to an employment tribunal. For employees, the first step is to raise concerns with the employer. If this is not sufficient, you can raise a grievance before taking the final step of the tribunal.

Signs to be aware of include:

  • Any form of harassment or bullying.
  • An employer reducing hours or if you’re overlooked for promotions.
  • Your employer turns down training requests with no explanation.

For more information, a visit to the government website is essential. Citizens Advice is also highly recommended, so you’re absolutely crystal clear on your rights.

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