In December this year, fathers have earned rights to take a leave of absence from work if a child was recently conceived in their family. Prior to December, only mothers had this right.
Post April 2015, employers are required to offer parental leave for any child for up to 50 weeks, instead of a father’s typical assigned work off, which is a fortnight.
Fathers will have to use holidays for maternity.
In an effort to bring forth a much more equal division of childcare, parents are now allowed to choose how they can split their paternity leave. Prior to this change, a survey conducted by Mumsnet concluded that roughly 39% of fathers were to use their paid leaves to support their partner in taking care of their new baby.
This new legislation is expected to be taken advantage of by one in every three expecting fathers. These fathers can expect up to 50 weeks of leave, and up to 39 weeks of paid leave which can be split between in any fashion. This is of course, excluding the mandatory 2 week leave required by the mother. The message has finally been received by the right people, and has resulted in this new legislation.
Share parenting rights.
However, these new rights have put thoughts into the mind of the fathers and employers. Employers will need to consider the effect on their workforce, while the fathers need to understand the consequences it may have on their careers and reputation. Especially when it requires several months leave. No one can expect a shift in attitude towards such matter, but may be something that will take time.
Despite the evidence, the Scandinavian model show that shared parenting rights can become the norm when businesses and the government work together. There is a term in Sweden, Norway and Iceland ‘Daddy quote’ that means a certain percentage is left for fathers, at which they are paid 80% of their original salary.
An individual from one of Norway’s largest employment associations mentions that the effect of such a change would be positive. Specifically, ‘strengthens the man’s position in the family and the woman’s in the workplace’.
However, the new laws can only make so much a difference on their own. The government requests that employers welcome the new legislation and take steps towards this change, by making aware of their rights, as well as changing their notice periods to their advantage to make sure they are welcomed back as an employee while maintaining their right as a parent.
This, in turn, will allow employers to benefit from a system where they can continue to employ talented women, and at the same maintain a productive and motivated team of staff.