Why shared parental leave just isn’t happening
- Credit: PA
Opinion: So hardly any new dads have taken up shared parental leave? Well, surprise, surprise, says Rachel Moore.
Did the government really believe there would be a stampede of fathers wanting to take months off work to look after their infants in shared parental leave?
If Nick Clegg, whose baby parental leave was, did, he was more out of touch than we thought.
Staying at home with a baby is a relentless demanding slog and harder work than any job, held hostage by a tiny dictator, who makes even popping to the loo a logistical challenge that takes strategy and guile.
And even if the will is there, which it isn't usually, simple family economics explains why fewer than one per cent of parents eligible for shared leave took it and only 221,000 fathers.
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While women's pay trails behind men's – how can we even be talking about equal pay in 2017 – there will be no equality in parental leave.
Men simply have to go to work because, sadly, they are usually paid more than the women, who can't afford the time off either.
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But, even if men could, my money would be on them still running back to work from nappies and sick at the first opportunity.