Fathers Unable to Afford Extra Paternity Leave

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

Money problems are the biggest concerns for fathers not planning on taking advantage of the new paternity rules, new research shows.

New fathers will be able to take up to six months paternity leave when the new rules come into effect this weekend, however uSwitch found just 59 percent of fathers plan to take this time off.

Although 80 percent of respondents in the study welcomed the change to paternity leave rights, 16 percent would not take advantage of it from fear of losing their job.

A further 52 percent admitted they would not take the extended paternity leave as they would not be able to afford it.

“The biggest reason for men not taking paternity leave in the past, and to not be doing so in the future, is money,” said Ann Robinson, uSwitch director of consumer policy.

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

Despite many feeling they are unable to take this leave, 62 percent feel the current two weeks leave is not long enough, with 76 percent admitting they would have liked more time to have bonded with their newborn.

“By keeping a tight lid on the household budget, new parents can make the most of the new rules without the fear of financial headache and debt,” Robinson added.

In another study by uSwitch, household finances were shown to be under more pressure following the Budget last week.

The research showed four in ten Brits are worried about the implication of the new measures on their own budgets, with many families still having to endure the cut to child benefits in April.

For those worried about keeping in the green, a prepaid debit card could prevent you from overspending each month.

The card works like any other debit or credit card to make purchases or access cash, but it does not have an overdraft facility, allowing the user to only spend what they loaded onto the card.

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