LANSING, Mich. — When parents have a child the pressure on the whole family is heightened. Many times companies will offer women maternity leave but offering a father time to be home and bond with their child is not as common. This early time at home is critical, not only for the bonding that takes place between child and parent, but also in the support needed for both parents.
As mentioned, giving moms paid time leave or "maternity leave" is quite common but the converse, "paternity leave" is not as commonly seen and for those companies that offer it, many men feel that there is a stigma to taking this leave and that even their job may be in jeopardy if they take advantage of this.
Just recently Dove Men+Care has taken up the charge to work on changing this.
"Less than 1 in 5 men in the U.S. are offered any paid paternity leave. Most dads who do have it don’t believe they can take their full time off to care for a newborn. It’s time to change that," said Dove on their website. "Working dads shouldn’t have to choose between their children and a paycheck—because when they take paternity leave, it benefits families, workplaces and communities.
"Dove Men+Care is championing better paternity leave worldwide – as part of comprehensive, paid family leave – so that every expecting father has the chance to care for the people that matter most to him. Less than 1 in 5 men in the U.S. are offered any paid paternity leave, and most dads who do have it don’t believe they can take their full time off to care for a newborn. Research shows that when men have the opportunity to care for their children, everyone benefits: from communities and workplaces to the parents’ relationship. To overcome these barriers and make paid family leave for fathers more common, in 2019 we’ve launched the Pledge for Paternity Leave and Paternity Leave Fund," said Dove Men+Care on their website.
The Pledge for Paternity Leave is a form you can fill out on their website in which you can pledge the following:
- As a current or expectant dad, I pledge to take my full leave.
- As an ally, I pledge to share the positive impacts of paternity leave and call on officials to endorse parental leave policies.
- As a business leader, I pledge to enact paternity leave policies that foster an empowering professional environment.
"While our push to make paid paternity leave the new standard is a long-term mission, expectant dads are in urgent need of support right now," said Dove. "That's why we created the Paternity Leave Fund, a $1 million commitment to fund paid paternity leave for real dads across the country over the next two years. Our fund will extend $5,000 grants to dads without access to paid leave so they can spend time with their children and show how paternity leave benefits families, workplaces, and communities."
You can apply for the $5,000 grant by filling out the form here. Dove does say that you have to also "take the pledge" and fill out that form as a requirement for entry into the grant program.
Josh Levs, who FOX 47 News spoke with at the Dad 2.0 Summit in San Antonio, Texas shared his take on why having equal family leave is so important in today's society in the video below.