The Liberal Democrats have announced in their manifesto today that they will give fathers an extra four weeks paternity leave.

Fathers are currently entitled to two weeks paternity leave, but under the Lib Dem plans fathers would get six weeks protected paternity leave.

 

This move extends further than the coalition government's shared parental leave policy, which starts in April next year and would increase total available parental leave to 58 weeks.

Liberal Democrat Business and Equalities Minister Jo Swinson said:

"Liberal Democrats are building a stronger economy and a fairer society where everybody has the opportunity to get on in life. Shared parental leave plays an essential part in that. It allows couples to choose how to split time off work to look after their new baby.

Baby (PD)"Extending paternity leave is an important next step to encouraging new dads to spend more time with their child in those vital early weeks and months after birth.

"When parents share caring responsibilities, more equality in the workplace will follow.

"It is a nonsense to think it is only the mother's job to look after children. Parenting is a shared responsibility.
"Most dads want to spend more time with their new baby, but can sometimes be discouraged by outdated ideas and cultural barriers in the workplace.

'The 'use it or lose' it six weeks will establish the important role of dads early on, and encourage couples to use the full flexibility on offer."

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