Nearly half (43%) of new fathers take five days or less paternity leave, which is only half of their two-week entitlement, according to research by HR software provider Octopus HR.
Its research, Dads at work: a report into the paternity leave trends and working habits of the modern working father, analysed more than 50,000 records of male employees working full-time in 214 organisations during a four-year period between 1 June 2010 and 31 May 2014.
The research also found that 15% take less than five days’ leave and only 5% take more than 10 days’ leave.
Paul Beaumont, managing director of Octopus HR, said: “Paternity leave was brought in to encourage fathers to help look after their new baby and, while some employers now offer more generous and flexible paternity packages than the legislation sets out, many new dads simply can’t afford to be off work.
“While financial reasons are arguably the main driver for this, the reality is that new dads also know they will have to pick up where they left off two weeks later and inevitably have to work late to make up for the lost time.
“Hopefully, this research will encourage UK employers to take a closer look at their paternity packages and consider offering new fathers a better deal, safe in the knowledge that they are potentially some of their most loyal and reliable employees.”