The stats around paternity leave are pretty appalling – from what new dads are offered by most workplaces to how many of them actually take up the entitlement. But hopefully Ryan Reynold‘s latest move might help change smash the stigma around men taking time off to care for their newborn.
US Weekly reports the actor took paternity leave from his latest film after Blake Lively secretly (to the wider world, at least) gave birth to their child around two months ago.
Granted, it was only eight days, but it’s on par with what most men are used to.
In Australia, “primary” carers are entitled to 18 weeks’ pay based on the minimum wage while “secondary” carers are entitled to two weeks of ‘Dad and partner pay’, also based on the minimum wage.
Only one in 20 dads take “primary” parental leave, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, while a Human Rights Commission study revealed that 85 per cent of Australian fathers and partners took less than four weeks’ leave upon the arrival of a baby.
Even when Australian dads do have access to paid primary carer’s leave, the uptake is low.
“It’s where the cultural and social stigmas surrounding it – ‘It’s a woman’s job to care for the kids’ – come in,” Emma Walsh, CEO of Parents-at- Work, told Men’s Health.
Let’s hope Ryan’s experience reminds men that paternity leave should accepted and encouraged.
Watch Ryan Reynold’s best quotes about becoming a dad below…