The UK government should give proposals to double paternity leave the consideration they deserve in an upcoming study of parental leave, SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor has said.
The MSP launched a campaign earlier this year to double the statutory period of paternity leave from 2 weeks to 4, pointing to a range of evidence on the potential benefits to both parents and children.
In a letter to Mr MacGregor, UK government minister Andrew Griffiths refused to commit to the proposal but said they would review the take up of paternity leave in an upcoming study of Shared Parental Leave.
A number of studies have found a link between longer paternity leave and a range of positive outcomes, including greater maternal well-being, reduced incidence of postnatal depression and fewer behavioural problems in children.
Commenting, Fulton MacGregor said: “The international evidence clearly shows that longer paternity leave at the outset of a child’s life is linked to a range of positive outcomes for dad, mum and baby.
“And with women often expected to provide the majority of care for their children, ensuring that dads play a bigger role in childcare is crucial in achieving gender equality and tackling the gender pay gap.
“Doubling the length of statutory paternity leave from two weeks to four is a simple, easily achievable and progressive step that could make a big difference to families across Scotland.
“With the UK government set to examine the take-up of parental leave, I urge them to seriously consider the evidence and give my proposals the consideration they deserve.”