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WHAT ABOUT PATERNAL LEAVE?

We talk a lot about maternal leave but what about paternal leave? In this newsletter we are looking into why a lot of companies still don't offer paternal leave or it's such a small time and why a lot of men are still afraid of taking leave.

 

THE DADDY DILEMMA

"Kristo Kaarmann dominated headlines recently as he announced he would be taking a four-month paternity leave. The CEO of Wise PLC, the fintech money transfer is notable for being the latest high profile business leader to publicly take extended leave. Wise PLC has also launched 18 weeks minimum full pay paternity leave across its seventeen global offices and the example set by Kaarman is an important message across the sector. For years research has shown significant benefits when fathers have the opportunity to bond with their newborn babies and continue developing the relationship in the early stages of child development. The surge of oxytocin in holding their newborn baby can predict their parenting bond and family relationships. While the benefits of parental leave are undeniable, research by the World Economic Forum has shown a decline in organizations in the United States of America offering paid parental leave. Organizations offering paid maternity leave have dropped significantly since 2022, from 53% to 35% in 2023. We see similar levels for paid paternity leave, from 44% in 2022 to just over a quarter of organizations (27%) in 2023." Learn more


SURVEY SHOWS SUPPORT FOR PATERNITY LEAVE SURGING

"Researchers from Davidson College,

Ball State, and Purdue found that support for maternity leave continues to increase as well, with support for an average of 16 weeks for moms (the same Pew survey showed support for 8.6 weeks). “There is no question that Americans want paid parental leave, and they increasingly recognize that this is important for fathers as well as mothers,” said Gayle Kaufman, Chair & Nancy and Erwin Maddrey Professor of Sociology at Davidson College. Kaufman was joined by Richard Petts, Trenton Mize and Taryn Wield."" Learn more


THE IMPORTANCE OF PROMOTING PARENTAL LEAVE TO FATHERS

"Here is ample evidence that parental leave

policies for all new parents have myriad individual and organizational benefits. In fact, roughly 4 in 10 employers now offer paid parental leave, according to SHRM's 2023 Employee Benefits survey. However, many men are still reluctant to use the benefit because they fear it will negatively impact their jobs or careers.


"There are a lot of benefits and not a lot of downsides to providing parental leave for new fathers. All of the research suggests that it helps businesses attract and retain productive workers, promotes worker commitment and facilitates greater gender equality," said Richard Petts, sociology professor at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. "Despite these benefits, men are often discouraged from using it. A paid-leave policy is only useful if workers are not stigmatized and penalized for taking it." While working as a journalist at CNN, Josh Levs successfully sued his employer and its parent company Time Warner, claiming that its parental-leave policy discriminated against biological fathers. Before his claim was settled, CNN changed its policy to make it more equitable and inclusive. "It's crucial to recognize that paid parental leave is not just a 'women's issue.' It's an issue for all parents and for everyone who understands the importance of including men and fathers in caregiving," Levs said." Learn more

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