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New plans being announced by the Liberal Democrats means fathers could be entitled to a month’s paternity leave.
At the moment, new dads are only entitled to two weeks of paid time off. However, this would be extended under the Lib Dems to “encourage greater sharing of parental responsibilities”.
Shared parental leave first came about two years ago under the coalition government. This gave parents the right to split up to 52 weeks off between them, as well as 39 weeks of statutory shared parental pay.
Former Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson, who helped change the law, said: “The Liberal Democrat introduction of shared parental leave was a massive step towards more equal parenting, and recognising the vital role that fathers play.
“Parents across the UK have already benefited from greater flexibility and freedom in how they share the care for their new baby.
“But more needs to be done in order to encourage men to take leave when they become a dad, to bond with their child during the early weeks and months of their life.
“Research shows that fathers being more involved in their children’s lives is good for children’s development and good for the health and happiness of the whole family.”
Despite this, new research has shown that many do not know about shared parental leave and a lack of financial support means some can’t take the time off work.