British fathers regret missing out on their child’s early stages
Poll reveals that a poor work-life balance is leading men to miss important milestones in their child’s development, as new rules around shared parental leave set to come into effect.
No parent can forget their child’s first steps or theatrical debut in the school nativity play – as long as they’re present to see it.
For anyone who works, that can be a sizeable problem, with office responsibilities hindering them from experiencing their child’s development.
New figures show that fathers in particular are living to regret their work-life balance, with over two-thirds missing important milestones in their child’s early years.
A poll of 4,057 UK adults, released today by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, shows that 69pc of dads have missed a key event, with nearly a quarter missing their child’s first steps (24pc) and one in five missing their first words (21pc).
In comparison, just 11pc of mothers missed their child’s first steps. The same percentage missed their first words.
According to the poll, missing out on these important moments is having an emotional effect on dads. Nearly a third of fathers surveyed said that they regret not taking any, or enough, leave after the birth of their child (32pc).
20pc of the men expressed regret at not being ‘hands-on’, having left their partner to do most or all of the childcare.
The poll shines a light on the experience of many working men, at a time when rules around parental leave are due to change. As of April 5, mothers will have the option to share a portion of their 52 weeks maternity leave (including 39 weeks of statutory maternity pay) with their partners.
The new Shared Parental Leave laws, coming into effect on 5 April, are designed to offer mothers the option to share a portion of their 52 weeks maternity leave and 39 weeks of statutory maternity pay with their partners.
Nearly a third of fathers polled said they would have taken up the right to share parental leave had it been available when their child was born.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg hailed the forthcoming introduction of Shared Parental Leave, saying it would “relegate out-date assumptions that women will always be the parents at home while fathers go out to work.
“Mothers and fathers will for the first time ever be able to decide for themselves how to divide the leave available after their child is born,” he continued. “This isn’t just fairer for families but it’s better for the economy too, boosting business productivity.”
Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson said: “Dads care just as much about first steps and first words as mums – so it’s crucial that the system gives fathers the chance to be there.”
Originally Published: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/relationships/fatherhood/11467503/British-fathers-regret-missing-out-on-their-childs-early-stages.html