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June 12, 2007
Most Working Dads Wouldn't Take Paternity Leave if Offered

The top two reasons working fathers say they wouldn't take paternity leave if it were offered are 1) they are unable to afford being without a paycheck for an extended period and 2) that it would harm their careers, according to a survey by Adecco USA, a staffing firm.

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The survey found 59 percent of working fathers would not take paternity leave if it were offered. Among those who would not take paternity leave, reasons cited include:

  • They're unable to afford paternity leave even if it did pay partial salary (46 percent)
  • It would harm their career (31 percent)
  • They are too busy at work to be away for an extended period of time off (28 percent)
  • They are depended on too much by co-workers and clients (28 percent).

Some respondents wouldn't take paternity leave say that they don't think they'd do a good job caring for the baby (12 percent) or that they don't have the patience to spend that much time with the baby (8 percent).

"Even if some companies are offering paternity leave, it has yet to become a society standard," says Bernadette Kenny, chief career officer, Adecco USA . "Our survey found that 70 percent of dads think that being a father also makes them a better employee. But fathers probably face more pressure to stay on the job more than mothers do when a baby comes along. Now it's the employers' turn to do a better job of implementing benefits and policies that allow for dads to achieve sustainable work-life balance."

The survey included 223 adult men who are employed full-time and/or part-time and are parents or legal guardians of at least one child.

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