According to the 2010 IRS/XpertHR benchmarking survey, fathers and partners of new mothers are hesitant to go on a paternity leave or even talk about it with their employers, and it has been noted that more then 50% of employers are in favour of supporting fathers going on paternity leave. The survey compares employers’ perspectives according to the statutory requirements, and includes responses gathered from 103 organisations, with a total workforce of 220,000.
The statistics show that approximately 59% of the male employees were hesitant to take the paternity leave as they sighted pay reduction. Other major findings include:
- Among male employees, only 2.7% of fathers and partners were able to take paternity leave during the past 2 years, and 59% of organisations state that employees are hesitant to take leave due to this reason.
- 46% of organisations conclude that new fathers are uncomfortable to use paternity leave as they assume that their working environment would be affected afterwards.
- Many HR managers and other management individuals strongly believe that a new father should stay with his child and spend quality time with his newborn baby and family.
- Almost 52% of organisations increase pay during paternity leave either for some part or for the full leave period.
- Almost 49% of organisations state that increasing pay and giving paternity leave has benefited the organisation a lot because employees feel more positive about the organisation and work harder to give better results.
- Approximately 53% of organisations fear that the extended proposal offered by the government in favour of paternity leave will not be beneficial, and will cause a lot of problems for both employers and employees.
- Many organisations support paternity leave and stress the importance of a father’s presence during the early days of a child life.
Besides these facts, most employees are still hesitant to apply for paternity leave. Employers vote in favour of paternity leave and provide extra benefits as well, but the statistics indicate that male staff are reluctant to take paternity leave since they fear pay reduction. Most employers and HR managers are keen to express their point of view and according to them a father should be eligible to take leave without any sort of pay reduction. There are still a few employers who are not in the favour of such leave for fathers, but the government has imposed this law so that fathers are able to play an active role in the early stages of a child’s birth.
Fathers should be encouraged to opt for flexible working by the employer because the main reason why most new fathers and partners of new mothers do not wish to go on paternity leave is that they are afraid and feel pressured by their employers. But it is their right and they should be encouraged to go on paternity leave or take flexible working hours.