African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".

More dads stay home with small babies

Posted by African Press International on August 8, 2008

Six out of ten fathers stay home with their children for more than six weeks. This is twice as many as in 1999.

More fathers are staying home for longer with their newborn babies.

PHOTO: MELISSA SCHALKE

Working parents are entitled to leave for up to a year with 80 percent pay, to look after their newborn children.

In theory, only the first few weeks are specifically reserved for the mother. In practice, mothers have tended to stay home through most of the the child’s first year. Increasing numbers of fathers are however taking care of small babies for longer, according to news bureau NTB.

To boost the numbers who take paternity leave, one month of the year’s quota has been reserved for fathers.

The recent figures show that more men are staying home for longer. This is considered good for creating closer bonds between fathers and their children. If men are increasingly likely to take paternity leave, this may ultimately strengthen women job applicants’ opportunities in the labour market.

Equality commissioner, Beate Gangs still thinks progress is too slow. “At this rate it will take more than three generations before a majority of fathers stay home with their children for more than eight weeks.”

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API/SourceAftenposteneng

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