In 2015 the Government will be rolling out its new Shared Parental Leave plan, which will allow the existing 52 weeks maternity leave to be split between both parents however they choose.

Yet research conducted by the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) suggests that nearly a third of dads won’t consider taking leave, primarily because paternity pay is too low.

 Of these fathers, 42 per cent said they felt responsible for providing for the family, while 13 per cent were worried about negative reactions from friends, family or colleagues.

 Forty-four per cent of fathers said that they would have preferred to have flexible working hours during their child’s first year. Although flexible working was considered by the Government, it failed to make it into the new policy.

Speaking to the Independent, the chief executive of NCT, Belinda Phipps, said: “These findings show that low paternity pay is preventing men taking time out to help look after their new baby.

“We would like to see the Government increase paternity pay so it is at least at the same level as the full-time minimum wage, and we need to raise awareness on flexible working opportunities. At the moment, too many are missing out.”

Are you a dad that would like to be able to share childcare but feel it is unrealistic? Would your family be able to afford to make use of the new Shared Parental Leave? Please share your views by commenting below.

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