Paternity leave ‘should be made compulsory’
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.