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Thousands of dads miss out on paternity leave

MORE than 157,000 new dads are denied paid paternity leave because they are self-employed.

A report released by the TUC on Father’s Day yesterday revealed that in 2016 there were about 625,000 working dads in Britain with a child under one.

A quarter of them did not qualify for up to two weeks’ statutory paternity leave and statutory paternity pay. The report said that the reason for the majority was that they were self-employed.

Unlike self-employed mothers, who are eligible for a maternity allowance, fathers who work for themselves don’t get a similar paternity allowance.

Another 44,000 dads didn’t get paid paternity leave or pay because they hadn’t been working for their employer for long enough. To qualify, the law requires employees to have at least six months’ service with an employer 15 weeks before the baby is due.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It’s really important for dads to be able to spend time at home with their families when they have a new baby.

“But too many fathers are missing out because they don’t qualify — or because they can’t afford to use their leave.

“We’d like to see all dads being given a right to longer, better-paid leave when a child is born and for this to be a day-one right.

“When parents share caring responsibilities it helps strengthen relationships — and makes it easier for mothers to continue their careers.”

The TUC called for a paternity allowance for dads who are not eligible for statutory paternity pay.


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