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Labour promise to double paternity leave


If Labour are voted into power they will double the amount of paid paternity leave new fathers can take, from two weeks to four weeks, Ed Miliband has said.

Currently, fathers are entitled to two weeks of paid leave after their child is born if they meet a certain criteria. Only 55% of new fathers take advantage of the full two weeks they are offered, mostly thanks to financial pressures making them feel like they have to return to work earlier.

Labour have proposed paid paternity leave be doubled to four weeks to convince more men to take at least two weeks off work when they have a new born child. Ed Miliband has claimed that the current system is “outdated” and the changes would help 400,000 families give their children the "best start in life they can".

They have also pledged to increase statutory paternity pay by more than £120 a week to £260 a week, paid for by savings in tax credits.
Ed Miliband said in his speech:

"At the same time as women are under pressure in their careers, more fathers want to play a hands-on role in childcare, particularly in those first crucial weeks of a child's life," Mr Miliband will say in a speech on Monday.

"Thanks to the last Labour government, fathers have two weeks' paid paternity leave. Millions of families have benefited with parents saying this has helped them support each other, share caring responsibilities and bond with their children.

"But the money isn't great and too many Dads don't take up their rights because they feel they have to go back so they can provide for their family."

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