Should paternity leave be longer?
I read an interesting article today written by Cork Labour party representative Eric Nolan.
In it he talks about gender equality and inequality, gender pay gap, gender quotas, maternity leave, parenting and paternity leave.
He mentions that as a father he found it very difficult to return to work after a few days, having seen how much his wife went through in bringing their child into the world.
He said it felt wrong to be heading out the door when he knew there was more he could do at home to help.
He also says that he couldn’t help think that he was missing out on some important bonding time with their baby.
As you know the Government introduced two weeks paternity leave which came into effect in September 2016 but Eric said in his article that if we truly want gender equality then we need to significantly increase paternity leave.
I am going to speak to Eric about this in more detail but before I do I want to ask you if you think we need to do more for new parents in Ireland.
Before paternity leave was introduced, new fathers had to take holidays from work to be with their new born and their partner. Many companies give fathers a few days off to be nice but most new fathers have had to use up holiday days.
New dads receive €230 in state support per week, and they can take that fortnight’s leave at any time in the first six months of their newborn’s life.
Many countries allow paid parental leave to be split by parents in whatever way they wish. Eric mentions Iceland in his article where both parents get three months, with another three months to be split according to their preference. This leave is paid at 80% of their salary.
Although this sounds like a wonderful thing for parents and families, the reality is that businesses would no doubt suffer.
Many small business owners think the current paternity leave entitlements are pain in the back side. They see it as being down a man for two weeks as well as their usual holiday allotment.
Varadkar at the time encouraged employers to top up men’s pay to their full salary while on leave.
The word ‘bonding’ has been used a lot in this debate….that fathers need this time to bond with their new born child. Do you believe that the state should pay for fathers to bond with their child?
There are many fathers out there who believe that the paid paternity leave is too little and not enough time is being given.
Some have suggested 2 or 3 months would be fairer.
Today I want to know what you think.
Should paternity leave be longer than two weeks?
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