Pa­ter­nity leave ‘should be made com­pul­sory’

France - - Ready To Go -

A French think-tank has sug­gested forc­ing new fathers to take pa­ter­nity leave – even if they don’t want to – in or­der to re­duce gen­der in­equal­ity in the work­place.

The Ob­ser­va­toire Français des Con­jonc­tures Économiques (OFCE) listed three pos­si­ble so­lu­tions: make the 11 days of pa­ter­nity leave now avail­able manda­tory; dou­ble the time to 22 days; or take it up to six weeks to bring it into line with post-natal ma­ter­nity leave.

The re­port’s au­thors sug­gest that forc­ing fathers to take time off would re­duce the im­pact on a mother’s ca­reer of hav­ing a long ma­ter­nity leave, as well as en­cour­ag­ing them to get more in­volved with house­work and bring­ing up their chil­dren.

The find­ings mir­ror a re­port from the Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Co-oper­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment (OECD), which con­cluded that only four per cent of French par­ents who take up parental leave are men. Even when pa­ter­nity leave is avail­able, many men sim­ply choose not to use it.

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