Saturday 16 December 2017

Time to address paternity leave

I WAS disappointed with the article ‘Ireland near top of maternity leave table' (Irish Independent, Saturday, March 5) which stated that "Irish women's maternity leave rights are the third best out of 35 countries" quoting from a new report from the OECD, "Doing Better for Families".

The article failed to refer to the fact that while “Irish mothers are near the top of the chart when it comes to the amount of time off and paid time they get”, Irish fathers are at the bottom of the pile,where they are not entitled to any paid paternity leave on the birth of their child, unless they work in the public service where they are entitled to three days.

The article says that the OECD has released a second report, which reveals that mothers spend more than twice as much time looking after their children than fathers. This would indicate that Irish fathers spend over 50pc more time with their children than their OECD counterparts, behaviour that should be lauded given the lack of paternity leave, which is known to encourage fathers to bond with their offspring.

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