Happy Father’s Day: Labour promises to double paternity leave

Scottish Labour has used Father’s Day to highlight how the party’s plans would benefit over 17,000 families in Scotland, and 220,000 families across the UK.

The policy, set out in last year’s General Election manifesto, would see paternity leave doubled, and pay increased across the board. At present, father’s can take two weeks of paid leave at any time in the 56 days after the child is born.

In Norway and Sweden, parental leave is allocated as a shared pot between the parents, meaning that the burden of childcare can be spread more evenly.

Increasing parental leave is promoted both to increase the amount of time new fathers can spend with their children, as well as reducing the average fall in wages that women suffer after having children. Men and women’s wages grow at the same pace over their lifetime before they have children, after that women’s wages fall by a third on average - in what the IFS has called a motherhood wage penalty.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said:

“The next UK Labour Government will deliver policies to transform the workplace and deliver better security and equality for working people in our fast changing economy.

“Fathers must have the right to spend more time with their new born babies, and  support their families. Increasing paternity leave will lead to greater equality in the workplace.

“Our plan to double paternity leave from two to four weeks and increase paternity pay would benefit 17,000 families in Scotland.

“That’s the real change Labour can deliver for working families in Scotland and across the UK.”

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