New fathers reluctant to take parental leave

They worry about finances, perception, survey says

New fathers reluctant to take parental leave
Employers should encourage new fathers to take full advantage of their parental leaves to improve gender diversity and do away with unconscious bias in the workplace.

A recent survey by recruitment expert Hays revealed that Australian men are reluctant to take full parental leave because they worry about negative impact.

“We need to start offering and accepting the decision of men to work flexibly and take an equal amount of paternity leave without making assumptions about their career motivations or applying unconscious or otherwise career consequences,” said Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand.

Fifty-four percent believe it might have adverse impact on their finances while 34% believe they will be seen as less committed to the job.

12 percent believe that parental leave is the right and responsibility of the mother.

Hays, which surveyed 842 Australians (62% female, 48% male), found that only 19% of respondents say their companies offer parental leave for male employees equally to female employees.

The men in their organisations, they said, rarely take (28%) or take some (44%) of the parental leave there are entitled to.

But 80% acknowledged that shared child-rearing responsibility and parental leave would be better than the current practice.

“If more employers did this, it would reduce the stigma around men taking on equal caring responsibilities and could help improve female gender equality in the workplace,” Deligiannis said.

He cited Mark Zuckerberg who took a full two months of parental leave after his daughter was born last year.

Zuckerberg made sure that Facebook’s parental leave policy covered both women and men.

“It would be great to see more men leading by example like this so that other men – and women – feel they can do the same without it impacting their career.”

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