New fathers are in line for more financial support as the annual benefits rises kick in
New dads get more money from this weekend.
The annual increases to statutory benefits kick in on Sunday meaning men on paternity leave get a few pounds more.
Instead of getting £145.18 per week anyone on paternity leave or on shared parental leave will be entitled to £148.68 every week. Someone whose average weekly pay packet doesn’t reach £148 will still be entitled to 90% of their average weekly earnings.
The rise is in line with the consumer prices index (CPI) and applies to maternity pay and adoption leave pay too.
The small increase is not enough for some campaigners.
The TUC claims around a quarter of new dads aren’t entitled to any paternity pay either because they are self-employed or because they haven’t been in a job long enough. Men only qualify for paternity leave and pay after they’ve been employed for three months whereas women are entitled to maternity benefits from day one in a job.
The parental pay equality campaign is urging the government to adopt a proposed bill that would give self-employed dads access to paternity pay while on shared parental leave.
The Women and Equalities Committee of MPs in parliament has suggested men should be paid 90% of their regular pay while taking time away looking after children to encourage more men to do so. Currently it’s believed many men do not consider taking extended paternity leave or shared parental leave because the drop in pay from their regular wage to the £148 per week rate is too large.
April marks the start of the new financial year and a host of changes to employment law come into force including more detailed payslips, an increase to the national minimum wage and national living wage and a rise in sickness pay.
It will also herald the next round of gender pay gap reporting with large firms required to reveal the difference in pay between their male and female employees. Many supporters of the scheme have suggested that this year will be more telling than the first year because it will become clear which firms have tackled the issue and made a difference and which have failed to act since the scheme came into operation in 2018.