Study: 89 Percent Of Men Say Paternity Leave Is "Hugely Important"

A forthcoming Boston College report suggests that smart businesses should evaluate their parental leave practices if they want to attract quality employees...regardless of gender.

What's the Latest Development?

Ahead of the June publication of a study about fatherhood comes this revelation: 89 percent of men surveyed said that paternity leave is "hugely important" to them. The study is part of an ongoing series, The New Dad, from Boston College's Center for Work and Family, that tackles different aspects of fathering, including work-life balance. Researcher Jennifer Fraone says the concept of shared parenting duties -- regardless of whether the children actually exist yet -- is increasingly gaining acceptance in American society.

What's the Big Idea?

While the passage of the Family Medical Leave Act was a step in the right direction, it ends up being a somewhat small step when other variables -- such as the fact that such leave doesn't have to be paid -- are taken into account. According to US Department of Labor statistics, only 20 percent of companies offer some type of paid leave for fathers. In contrast, starting in 2015 parents in the UK will be able to split a full 50 weeks of paid and unpaid leave after the birth of a baby. Given the way the tide is turning, writer Anne Miller offers this suggestion to company recruiters: Consider treating candidates like moms.

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