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Call You and Yours: Why aren't dads staying off work to look after new babies?

Consumer phone-in. Winifred Robinson asks why dads are not staying off work to look after new babies.

Call You & Yours - why aren't dads staying off work to look after new babies? Email youandyours@bbc.co.uk and leave us a phone number.

It's three years since the government introduced shared parental leave, giving fathers the chance to "share the joy" of looking after their new baby. But very few men have done so. The government says that as few as 2% of eligible couples have taken up the opportunity. Shared parental leave allows parents to share 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay after they have a baby. Parents can take the time off separately or can choose to be at home together for up to six months.

On Call You & Yours we are asking why so few dads are taking up the opportunity to stay off work and look after their new baby.

The government believes that many couples are unaware of the option and they are planning a new publicity drive so more people consider it. But there are other barriers. Some men who earn more than their partner say they simply can't afford to take time off. Some fear that it might give their employer the impression that they are not very committed to work. Some people believe that women are generally just better equipped to do the job.

We are keen to hear your experience. Did you and your partner consider sharing parental leave? If so, what did you decide and why? If you are a father who looked after your baby at home, tell us how you found it. If you and your partner chose not to share parental leave, what stopped you?

Email us - youandyours@bbc.co.uk and leave us a phone number, so we can call you back.

From 11am on Tuesday 13th February, you can call us direct on 03700 100444

Producer: Jonathan Hallewell
Presenter: Winifred Robinson.

Available now

45 minutes

Broadcast

  • Tue 13 Feb 2018 12:15

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