Why Do More Men Not Take Their Full Paternity Leave?


I was surprised to discover the other day that only 55% of new British fathers take their full 2 week´s paternity leave entitlement.

You would think that every guy would want to take all the holidays from work they could at this special time of their lives. After all, your new born baby is only going to be a week old one time in their life. So why do almost half of all men choose to go back to work earlier than they need to?

Employer Pressure?

I would imagine that employer pressure is one of the big reasons for a lot of guys to miss out on some paternity leave. Sure, you have the law telling you that you can take the time off but what if your boss puts pressure on you by mentioning how much you are needed? If you told people at your work about the pregnancy in advance then there are a good few months for the boss to crank up the pressure on you and keep nagging at you not to take the full 2 weeks. Of course, there is no way they can force you to go back early but it can be tough to resist if your manager tells you every day that they simply can´t cope without you for a fortnight. It is difficult to find a way round this but maybe by agreeing to work some extra hours beforehand or do some work at home you can keep everyone happy, not that you should feel any obligation to do this.

A Big Workload

This might at first seem awfully similar to the last point. However, the difference is that in this case you are person who decides to go back early, without any pressure from colleagues or bosses. In fact, it could be that others try to persuade you to take more time off work. However, there is a little voice in your head that tells you that you simply can´t take the time off or you´ll come back to a desk and inbox that are both overflowing with work. Of course, as I just mentioned, there are a few months of waiting before a baby is born. This means that you could try and get ahead of the game before your paternity leave. Having said that, with so many other things to do at this time the birth date could just kind of sneak up on you.

Financial Concerns

While new fathers get paid for the time they take off work, it is often the case that they still take a big drop in income for those 2 weeks. 2 weeks worth of lower wages might not seem like a big deal but this is precisely the time of your life when your finances are possibly going to be at their most stretched. When looking for a solution we again have to go back to the idea of using the period before the birth to try and save up for the paternity leave period. This might not always be possible but it is the best way of ensuring that you have enough cash to not have to worry about earning less while you are staying at home.

Ignorance of the Law

Could it be that not all new fathers are fully aware of the law? It is true that it has been around since 2003 but maybe you don´t know anyone who has taken time off following the birth of their baby and haven´t ever checked out the rules. If you are going to become a father soon then it definitely pays to do some research on whether you qualify for this time off.

Are you planning to take 2 weeks off when your baby is born or have you done so already?

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