The Women and Equalities Committee has recently published a report on the rights of fathers at work. The report calls for improvements to be made by the government to the rights of fathers at work, for example:
- Removing the qualifying period for paternity leave;
- Increasing statutory paternity pay to 90% of earnings (however capped for high earners).
The government responded to the report as follows:
Paternity leave and pay
Following the reports recommendation to make paternity leave a day one right, the government provided that it is unlikely to follow the recommendation, however, would consider further views in an upcoming Maternity and Paternity rights survey.
Shared parental leave and pay
The report calls for an additional 12 weeks paternal leave which would replace the shared parental leave system. The government provided that further research is required before they could be in a position to follow the recommendation as the shared parental leave system is still rather new.
Time off and flexible working
The report called for paid time off for fathers to attend antenatal appointments, which the government rejected.
In relation to flexible working, the government’s response was that it would await the response of the Maternity and Paternity Rights Survey to consider whether ‘paternity’ should be a protected characteristic.