Nearly two-thirds of Britain’s new dads are not taking their full statutory paternity leave according to a new survey.
Financial pressures, career considerations and unsympathetic bosses are all given as reasons in the YouGov survey for ING Direct.
Although the majority of firms offer three weeks’ leave – a week more than the statutory fortnight – only 37 per cent of new dads take two weeks off after the birth, with 58 per cent taking less than a week off.
There are regional variations, with 42 per cent of London-based dads taking their full paternity leave, compared to just 29 per cent in Scotland.
Money, or a lack of it, appears to be the key reason why dads turn down leave, with 48 per cent of dads citing financial considerations as a key motive for staying at work.
The statutory basic pay while on leave is just £108.85 a week. If an employer does not supplement this, then the average working man taking statutory paternity leave will lose £724 in earnings.
Work responsibilities are also seen to be a deterrent, with one in 10 saying that they fear their career would suffer if they took too much time off.
But fathers also report lack of empathy from their employer, with a fifth saying they were needed back at work ‘urgently’, and 13 per cent saying that their employer wasn’t parent friendly.
Commenting on the findings, ING Direct CEO Lindsay Sinclair, said: “Our research shows that men continue to choose to return to work early, with many mentioning the high financial cost of taking paternity leave as an important factor.
“It also appears that parents may not be making the right financial plans, with one in six men saying they regret not having enough savings to be able to take their full leave.”