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Almost half of Aussie men want same parental leave as women

Almost half of Aussie men want same parental leave as women

When it comes to our attitudes and behaviours around paternity leave, it appears dads feel as if they’re being forgotten, according to Commonwealth Bank research into the nation’s views on parental leave.

Commonwealth Bank research found that:

  • Almost half (44 per cent) of the nation thinks men need the same parental leave benefits as women;
  • More than four in ten Australian men (42 per cent) have concerns about taking parental leave;
  • It’s more acceptable for men to take parental leave than it was five years ago (93 per cent);
  • It’s important employers offer the same opportunities around parental leave for men and women (85 per cent);
  • Men taking parental leave supports women to succeed in their careers (90 per cent); and
  • Equal parental leave will ultimately lead to greater gender equality in the work place (84 per cent).

According to Fair Work Australia, parental leave is leave that can be taken when “an employee gives birth, an employee’s spouse or de facto partner gives birth or an employee adopts a child under 16 years of age. Employees are entitled to 12 months of unpaid parental leave, and the can also request an additional 12 months of leave.”

While there’s no laws excluding fathers from taking parental leave, it’s clear that many feel as if there are barriers in place preventing them from requesting it. 

This was also reflected in Commonwealth Bank research, which found that:

  • 43 per cent of Millennials and 33 per cent of Gen Xs saying they feel they would be “disadvantaged in their careers” if they were to take time off to raise a family;
  • Over a third of Queenslanders (34 per cent) were hesitant to take parental because they feel it’s “viewed negatively in the workplace”;
  • 30 per cent of Victorians and 28 per cent of NSW residents were also hesitant to take parental leave due to “negative workplace views”; and
  • One third of men wouldn’t seek out information on parental leave policies (33 per cent) or feel comfortable asking their manager about it (32 per cent).

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This article was reviewed by Property & Personal Finance Writer Nick Bendel before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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