According to research by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), 32 per cent of fathers regret not taking any, or enough, leave after the birth of their child.
Many men regret the missed key moments of their baby’s development due to a poor work-life balance. 69 per cent of dads have missed key milestones in their child’s life with 24 per cent missed their first steps and 21 per cent missed their first words. In comparison, only 11 per cent of mothers missed their child’s first steps and first word.
The findings suggest that missing out on these important moments has had an emotional effect on dads.
One in five said that they regret not being there as much as they’d liked to and one in five regret not being ‘hands on having left their partner to do most or all of the childcare.
BIS released the survey in advance of shared parental leave legislation coming into effect in April. It allows mothers and fathers to share 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay equally.
With new rules on shared parental leave due to come into force, 29 per cent said they would have taken the right to shared parental leave if it had been available. 66 per cent of those who are thinking of having children said they would likely to speak to their employer about taking hared parental leave.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “Modern British families come in all shapes and sizes but we need a more family friendly Britain which works for them, not against them. That’s why I’ve made it one of my priorities in Government to build a fairer society, which empowers parents to make their own decisions on how they balance home and work life. “
“With the introduction of Shared Parental Leave, mothers and fathers will for the first time ever be able to decide for themselves how to divide the leave available after their child is born. This isn’t just fairer for families but it’s better for the economy too, boosting business productivity and helping companies recruit and keep the best talent.”