Only one in three new fathers take paternity leave, research suggests

Only one in three new fathers take paternity leave amid concerns of low pay level, research suggests

  • Fathers are paid £157 a week for paternity leave – an increase of £40 since 2014 
  • Less than a third of the number of men take the time off than mothers that do
  • Law firm EMW said the pay was not keeping up with ‘the spiralling cost of living’

Only a third of eligible new fathers are taking paternity leave due to the low level of pay, research suggests.

Just over 200,000 fathers took paternity leave in 2021/22, compared with 636,000 mothers, according to a study by commercial law firm EMW.

Statutory paternity pay is £157 a week, an increase of only £20 since 2014. But if it had kept up with inflation over that period, new fathers would now be entitled to £181 a week, EMW said.

(Stock Photo) Law firm EMW said paternity leave pay was not rising ‘anywhere near fast enough’ to match increased costs and make taking the time off affordable for new fathers

Jon Taylor of EMW said: ‘Fathers on paternity leave are getting a raw deal and with inflation rising sharply it’s getting worse all the time.

‘Paternity pay is not increasing anywhere near fast enough to keep up with the spiralling cost of living.

‘With inflation rising in the UK, couples are having to take into account the increased cost of starting a family.

‘The current rate of paternity pay is a disincentive both to having children and to men contributing actively to raising them.’

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