A recent report from the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) say that a cultural barrier in the workplace is having a direct impact on paternity leave.
The research showed that more than half of the managers surveyed believe that parental leave is disruptive for their work force, and a further 72% of managers feel that parental leave affects the efficiency and productivity of their teams.
This perception means that only 10% of new fathers spend more than two weeks with their new babies, and only 2% of managers return to work after a fortnight.
The ILM suggests that ingrained expectations remain around a mother’s role as the primary care giver in the infant’s first year, and this deters new fathers from taking advantage of government schemes.
Changes to the legislation, such as additional paternity leave will allow new fathers to take up to 26 weeks’ off, while this provides the option to share parental leave more equally between both parents the research showed that employers are still more in favour of mothers taking time off.
While nearly ⅔ of employers surveyed for the report were supportive of women taking up to a year’s maternity leave, there was only 58% of employers supportive of fathers taking just two weeks paternity leave.
The ILM is now calling on employers to tackle workplace attitudes, to encourage the uptake of paternity leave and drive gender diversity in the workplace.
The government is hoping new legislation will help working dads play a greater role in their child’s early months, and help keep talented women in the workforce.
From 2015, eligible mothers and their partners will be able to take up to 52 weeks of shared leave between them, either in alternating blocks or taken together.
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