Family Court Practice, The
Order the 2021 edition due out in May
Court of Protection Practice 2021
'Court of Protection Practice goes from strength to strength, having...
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance Tenth Edition
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance is an authoritative specialist text...
Latest articles
Disabled women more than twice as likely to experience domestic abuse
The latest data from the Office of National Statistics shows that, in the year ending March 2020, around 1 in 7 (14.3%) disabled people aged 16 to 59 years experienced any form of domestic abuse in...
The President of the Family Division endorses Public Law Working Group report
The Courts and Tribunals Judiciary has published a message from the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, in which the President endorses the publication of the President’s...
HMCTS updates online divorce services guidance
HM Courts and Tribunals Service have recently updated the online divorce services guidance with the addition of guides for deemed and dispensed service applications, alternative service...
Become the new General Editor of The Family Court Practice, the definitive word on family law and procedure
The Family Court Practice (‘The Red Book’) is widely acknowledged as the leading court reference work for all family practitioners and the judiciary. We are currently recruiting a...
The suspension, during lockdown, of prison visits for children: was it lawful?
Jake Richards, 9 Gough ChambersThis article argues that the suspension on prison visits during this period and the deficiency of measures to mitigate the impact of this on family life and to protect...
View all articles

Equality and Human Rights Commission calls for better paternity leave

Sep 29, 2018, 17:21 PM
Slug : 15-07-2008-equality-and-human-rights-commission-calls-for-better-paternity-leave
Meta Title :
Meta Keywords :
Canonical URL :
Trending Article : No
Prioritise In Trending Articles : No
Date : Jul 15, 2008, 04:23 AM
Article ID : 89463

Nicola Brewer, Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, argues that we need to explore legislative change to tackle the significant inequality between maternity and paternity leave.

Ms Brewer claims the present rights of mothers and fathers appears to support the idea that fathers are 'optional seasoning' in children's lives while mothers are the main carers. The division between maternity and paternity leave could be entrenching the view that women are the ones who have to pay the career price for motherhood.

In a speech yesterday to launch a major consultation -Working Better - into flexible working in partnership with and she welcomed present maternity leave rights but said we have to explore ways of allowing more rights for fathers.

She also said that flexible working is the way forward for everyone in the workforce, whether it's a husband caring for his disabled wife, someone who wants to ease into retirement or a couple looking after an older parent.

Turning to the issue of maternity and paternity leave, she said: "No-one is suggesting that women should not have the rights they have to maternity leave, what we are saying is that dads need a slice of the action too. The present unequal sharing of caring has created generations of 'Salt and Pepper dads'. I mean fathers who are seen as good 'seasoning' for a family but not essential for parenting."

Ms Brewer praised legislation that provides more rights for women at work. "Since 1997 the increase in maternity leave has been dramatic and welcome. But in not allowing fathers good rights as well, I think it presents us with an inconvenient truth. Has policy on maternity leave made too many assumptions about the choices families will make and as a result entrenched the stereotype that it is women who do the caring and men who do the earning?

"Clearly mother and baby need to be together in the early months but what is the justification for the right to leave from 6 months still being seen as an issue in the main for women? At that point couldn't it become 'parental leave', shared by mums and dads depending on the family circumstances? And the key is, for men, at that stage, shouldn't it be paid? Shouldn't dads have the right to the first 12 weeks paternity leave paid at 90% of their salary? Should public spending be reprioritised to focus on giving real choice to every family?"

Ms Brewer said that we also needed to extend the debate beyond the economic case for better ways of working. "Where does well-being and our sense of community and the need for a good family life fit into this debate?" she said. "This is about more than pounds and pence, it is about happiness and satisfaction. What sort of society do we want to be? We talk about the penalty for taking time out of work to raise children and the 'cost' of motherhood but are we forgetting about the other side of the coin? What cost are men paying by missing out on raising children?"

The Commission begins its consultation today and will produce a major report in the new year. Uniquely, the Commission is partnering with and in an online consultation called Homefront to give families a platform to explain the issues they face balancing work and life.

Duncan Fisher of Dad.Info said: "We have this idea that mothers and fathers freely choose their roles. They don't. 80% of mothers earn less than their partners, part-time work is badly paid and only full-time work creates enough security for most families, there is no affordable leave for fathers.

"If families could afford for dads to take time off for childcare, most would choose this, as in every other country that has acted to change the economics."

Categories :
  • News
Tags :
Provider :
Product Bucket :
Recommend These Products
Related Articles
Load more comments
Comment by from