SNP Conference has offered its backing to MSP Fulton MacGregor’s campaign to double statutory paternity leave – calling on the UK government to act to extend the leave new fathers are entitled to from 2 weeks to 4 weeks.
The resolution welcomes the flexibility that shared parental leave has introduced – but also argues that the burden of childcare should not fall disproportionately on mothers.
Currently, new fathers, partners of adopters, and intended parents having babies through surrogacy only receive 1 or 2 weeks’ statutory paternity leave.
Fulton MacGregor is calling for the UK government to act and for this leave to be extended to 4 weeks – highlighting international research that shows the benefits of increased paternity leave, including greater maternal wellbeing and reduced incidence of postnatal depression.
The Scottish Government has already taken steps to offer staff four weeks’ paternity leave on full pay.
Commenting following the resolution, Fulton MacGregor MSP said: “I am delighted to receive Conference’s backing for my campaign.
“The UK government cannot ignore the range of evidence that proves how beneficial extending paternity leave will be – from improving maternal wellbeing to reducing postnatal depression.
“The Scottish Government has already taken action to offer staff four weeks’ paternity leave on full pay, helping reduce the childcare burden for new mothers, and allowing new fathers, partners of adopters and parents having babies through surrogacy the chance to spend more time with their newborn child – which studies have shown is incredibly beneficial for all.
“The time has come for the UK government to act, and to double statutory entitlement of paternity leave. Two weeks simply isn’t enough.”