Men not taking parental leave they are entitled to

A new survey has shed light on views on male parental leave in Aotearoa.

According to the survey, 53% of New Zealanders believe that new fathers don’t take the full parental leave they are entitled to because of fear they will be viewed as less committed to their job.

33% believe parental leave is viewed as the right and responsibility of the mother, while 14% say the discrepancy is due to the adverse impact on the father’s finances.

Only 22% said their organisation offers parental leave for male employees on equal terms to female employees.

The majority said men in their organisation rarely take (30%) or only take some (37%) of the parental leave they are entitled to.

The survey was undertaken by recruiting company, Hays.

Jason Walker, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand says, “To help make real and lasting gender equality progress, we need to talk in terms of ‘family-friendly’ rather than ‘women-friendly’ policies and offer and accept the decision of men to work flexibly and take an equal amount of paternity leave without making assumptions about their career motivations or applying unconscious or otherwise career consequences.

“While there are many examples of men in New Zealand who are taking on the primary caring role, a stigma remains. To help reduce this, employers can encourage male employees to take parental leave.”