Employers against new paternity rules

More than 80% of employers are concerned that the new additional paternity leave (APL) rules will negatively impact their companies, according to a survey by international law firm Davies Arnold Cooper.

However, the survey also found that most employers (74%) believed less than a quarter of eligible employees would take advantage of the new right to APL, which will enable new fathers to request up to six months paternity leave from April 2011 onwards.This is reinforced by the finding that 64% of companies say that at present less than a quarter of eligible employees in their organisations took any paternity leave.†

Other employer concerns include, the cost of providing cover (35%), too many employees being absent (8%) and administration costs (2%).†

Wendy Trehy, partner and employment law specialist at Davies Arnold Cooper, said: “Despite the fact that there was a significant amount of consultation undertaken by the government on the introduction of APL, employer opinion is divided and significant concerns remain. We will have to wait and see how many fathers do take up this right, what the costs to employers ultimately are and if this has the adverse impacts feared.”

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