3 Sep 2017

Paternity leave 'overlooked'

10:06 am on 3 September 2017

The Law Society is urging firms and other companies to offer more flexibility in the workplace for fathers who want to spend time with their children.

Father and child silhouette on beach generic

Fathers' rights are often overlooked, the Law Society says. Photo: 123rf.com

Kathryn Dalziel, who heads the society's Human Rights and Privacy Committee, said entitlements for fathers were often overlooked and it was important to recognise that workplace flexibility was for men and women.

Fathers are entitled to 18 weeks' paid parental leave for a new born or a child under six years old if they are the primary caregiver.

"I am encouraging men to come forward and say 'actually I would like to spend some time either with my family or there are reasons why I need a bit more flexibility in my day' rather than just setting up at my desk at 8.30 and leaving at 5.30 or later."

She said given the high rates of burnout in law, firms should recognise the need for both men and women to spend more time with their families and have a work-life balance.

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