Working Families’ response to fathers in the workplace report
Published: 14 Jun 2018
Responding to the government’s response to the Women & Equalities Select Committee’s report on fathers in the workplace Julia Waltham, Head of Policy & Campaigns at Working Families, the UK’s work life balance charity , said:
The government’s response can be summed up in five words – heavy on the long grass. Action to support fathers in the workplace – particularly around the levels of statutory pay and support for self-employed fathers – is already long overdue.
Sufficient pay is crucial to encourage fathers to take leave around childbirth and in the first year; the current levels of paternity and shared parental pay are not sufficient to ensure all fathers use it. The government’s response is another missed opportunity to address this.
We’re disappointed that, again , the government feels standalone ‘use it or lose it’ paternity leave – whereby fathers can take a longer period of properly paid time off – does not require action. Figures suggest the gender pay gap will take a generation to close. This constant delay in acting is a false economy.
Self-employed fathers – many of whom will have had self-employment imposed on them by their employer – will lose out most from government inaction. Their situation remains the same – no right to paternity or shared parental leave or pay and no sign of a government plan to make taking time off after the birth of their child a more realistic option for them.
 The government rejected the Committee’s call for properly paid, standalone ‘use it or lose it’ paternity leave for fathers following its gender pay gap report in 2016.