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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Dads Have Spoken, and They Want Paternity Leave

Posted by on Jun. 11, 2014 at 2:56 PM
  • 65 Replies
1 mom liked this

 Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Dads Have Spoken, and They Want Paternity Leave

 

When Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy dared to take a three-day paternity leave this past spring — on the heels of missing opening day for the birth of his son — sports commentators ridiculed him, suggesting he “hire a nurse.” But those male critics, thankfully, turned out to be in the minority, with a slew of other men jumping to Murphy’s defense. Now a new study supports that response, finding that plenty of other new dads want to be more involved at home, too — and would actually be thrilled to take up to four weeks paid paternity leave if it were offered. The findings follow the release of some notable daddy data showing a recent, marked rise in stay-at-home dads.

“Organizations that want to retain their best talent must acknowledge that fathers are playing a more active role in their families, and consider paternity leave as an essential benefit,” notes Brad Harrington, lead author of “The New Dad: Take Your Leave,” in a press release. Harrington shared the report findings at the White House Panel on Working Fathers on Tuesday.

The study, released Monday from Boston College Center for Work & Family, is meant to illuminate the needs and desires of fathers to inform both organizational policies and legislative initiatives. It includes a survey of nearly 300 corporations and more than 1,000 American fathers (mainly educated professionals), as well as a study of paternity-leave policies at various organizations and a review of global policies and U.S. state laws regarding paternity leave.

Key findings include:

•A whopping 99 percent of fathers surveyed believe employers should offer paid paternity leave, with 74 percent noting that two to four weeks is an appropriate amount.

•The average amount of time actually taken by fathers surveyed was two weeks, some of which consisted of a combo of paternity leave, sick days, and vacation time.

• Fathers considering a potential employer — 89 percent, in fact — say that the company’s paternity-leave policy plays an important factor in their decision.

• Most of the dads — 86 percent — said they would take some time off to be with a newborn only if they were paid at least 70 percent of their salary; 45 percent, meanwhile, said they would take their full leave only if they received their full salary.

• During their paternity leaves, fathers reported that they were knee-deep in caregiving (not “vacationing,” as sports talk-show host Mike Francesa suggested regarding the Murphy situation); more than 90 percent reported they spent time on childcare, including diaper changing; while more than 80 percent did chores like food shopping, cooking and cleaning.

• Of the companies surveyed, 60 percent offer paid paternity leave — from three days to 12 weeks — while 40 percent don’t. Of those that do not, 63 percent cited cost as a reason.

“Cultural changes are hard, and they take a while, but this is going along at a reasonable clip,” Fred Van Deusen, Boston College Center for Work & Family researcher and a co-author of the new study, tells Yahoo Shine. The encouraging news, he notes, is that so many fathers in the survey really care about paternity leave. Now society — including corporations — simply needs to catch up.

The recent findings on stay-at-home dads, meanwhile, come from Pew Research. It found that while most stay-at-home parents are mothers, fathers represent a growing segment — 16 percent in 2012, up from 10 percent in 1989. And though nearly a quarter of those say they are home mainly because they can’t find work, just about as many say they are home primarily to take care of family — a four-fold increase from 1989.

The studies are just the latest evidence of the changing landscape of fatherhood in the United States — where dads' thoughts on topics including primary caregiving, Prince William's fatherhood revelations, and Murphy's paternity leave are a complex mix of proud and embarrassed. “It’s the whole ‘what’s-a-man?’ kind of thing around identity, and it’s slow to change,” Van Deusen notes, regarding the tough-to-soften ideals of masculinity. “It’s just so ingrained.”

by on Jun. 11, 2014 at 2:56 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Its.me.Sam.
by Silver Member on Jun. 11, 2014 at 2:58 PM

good.
men should get a little time to bond with baby and be there for thir family as well.  i am all for it. 

mamatink7
by on Jun. 11, 2014 at 3:03 PM

this is definately a step in the correct direction FINALLY. i definately will want and need dh home with me for 1-3 wks when babies r here. they need quality time to start bonding with newborns plus a great help to the mama's who cannot even carry the infant carrier or diaper bag yet. 

macbudsmom
by Silver Member on Jun. 11, 2014 at 3:06 PM
8 moms liked this
First on the agenda should be paid maternity leave.
momtoscott
by Platinum Member on Jun. 11, 2014 at 3:06 PM

It's a great idea.  

Its.me.Sam.
by Silver Member on Jun. 11, 2014 at 3:08 PM
1 mom liked this

yes!!
YES!! 

Quoting macbudsmom: First on the agenda should be paid maternity leave.


LDavis33
by Bronze Member on Jun. 11, 2014 at 3:12 PM
2 moms liked this

Here in Canada, eligible employees (basically anyone who has worked enough hours to qualify for unemployment insurance) are entitled to 15 weeks of maternity leave.  They are also entitled to 30 weeks parental leave on top of that 15 weeks.  While the maternity leave is strictly for mothers, parental leave can be taken by either parent, or both parents if they wish to split the time.  Both are paid 55% of their wages through the unemployment insurance program.  


Mrs.Kubalabuku
by Bronze Member on Jun. 11, 2014 at 3:19 PM

I fully support this.  A new baby brings a LOT to a household.

When I had my first, no problem.  I was up doing normal tasks within a day.  DH took about 2 weeks of leave.

Second, emergency C section.  DH had to care for us a lot, doing almost all the tasks, for 2 weeks.  Then I needed him home an additional 6 weeks before I was healed enough to handle our two children alone.

Third baby everything fell apart.  I was on bed rest from Dec to mid May when she was born.  I'm about 4 weeks post partum and I'm only just now starting to function, and I may need surgery just after the 6 week checkup.

Thank GOD DH's employer has been more than supportive!  And I have noticed that DH enjoys the extra time he gets while the babies are small.

TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Jun. 11, 2014 at 3:20 PM
2 moms liked this

 My husband got took it with each birth.   It's called "saved up vacation time". 

But no, employers are not going to pay dads just to stay home, not without extracting it somewhere else.  They have already screwed almost everyone on health care tripling of costs. 

macbudsmom
by Silver Member on Jun. 11, 2014 at 3:36 PM
That's terrific!

Quoting LDavis33:

Here in Canada, eligible employees (basically anyone who has worked enough hours to qualify for unemployment insurance) are entitled to 15 weeks of maternity leave.  They are also entitled to 30 weeks parental leave on top of that 15 weeks.  While the maternity leave is strictly for mothers, parental leave can be taken by either parent, or both parents if they wish to split the time.  Both are paid 55% of their wages through the unemployment insurance program.  

jllcali
by Jane on Jun. 11, 2014 at 3:36 PM
2 moms liked this
That's good. Some men have the luxury of jobs that allow that. But not every employer will allow a man to take vacation days on short notice, whether they have vacation time accrued or not.

Quoting TranquilMind:

 My husband got took it with each birth.   It's called "saved up vacation time". 


But no, employers are not going to pay dads just to stay home, not without extracting it somewhere else.  They have already screwed almost everyone on health care tripling of costs. 

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