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TUC: Better paternity pay would help new dads spend more time with their children

Commenting on the second-year anniversary of the introduction of shared parental leave today (Wednesday), TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Shared parental leave has helped some dads get more involved with their new babies. But take-up has been very low and without better rights to well-paid leave, many new parents will continue to miss out on spending time with their children.

“If the government is serious about men being more involved after their child is born then they should increase statutory paternity pay and make shared parental leave more flexible. And give all new dads a right to their own paid parental leave that is not dependent upon their partners.”

Notes to Editors:

  • You may be entitled to Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) if you’re having a baby or adopting a child. Eligible parents can take up to 50 weeks’ SPL and up to 37 weeks’ ShPP. It is paid at £140.98 per week (the national minimum wage for adults is £262.50 for a 35-hour week) and can be taken continuously or in up to three blocks. It must be taken within 52 weeks from when a child is born. For more information please visit www.gov.uk/shared-parental-leave-and-pay/overview
  • The TUC is calling on the government to offer better support to new dads and:
  1. Make fathers’ leave a day one right as maternity leave is, and not exclude fathers from leave rights because they lack the necessary 26 weeks’ qualifying service by the 15th week before the baby is due.
  2. Introduce an additional month of paid parental leave and reserve it for fathers only to use.
  3. Improve statutory pay rates by raising statutory pay to NMW levels.
  4. Introduce a paternal/parental allowance for those who don’t qualify for statutory pay. This would mirror the maternity allowance which mothers who don’t qualify for statutory maternity pay can claim.


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