Modern Dad? Prince William to Take Two Weeks of Paternity Leave
Royal fever came to a head today with the birth of a royal baby boy. In a show of modern fatherhood, Prince William is expected to take two weeks of paid paternity leave.
William is the first senior royal to receive such leave, which became standard for working dads in the U.K. in 2003, according to the Associated Press. As a helicopter pilot in the Royal Air Force, he will receive his full salary during the time off, the AP reports.
While the U.S. does not federally mandate paid paternity leave, increasingly companies are moving to offer men more time off with pay. For instance, earlier this year Yahoo extended its parental-leave policy to provide up to eight weeks of fully paid leave for both mothers and fathers.
Yet even as some companies are beginning to offer men more time, a recent report in the Wall Street Journal shows that men are still reluctant to take it. While Ernst & Young offers up to six weeks of paid paternity leave to fathers on staff, 90 percent of those dads take only two weeks, WSJ reports. What's more, a 2011 study by the Boston College Center for Work and Family found that the majority of new fathers take only a week or two off.
Many men said they would take as much time as they were able.
"There is nothing more important than family," said Ahmad Moore, a business owner in Newark, N.J. "You can run the business and have everything going well, but if the cost of running that business is the dysfunction of your family and your absence in their life, you have paid too much and made no profit."
Meanwhile, new dad Scott Walker said he leaned on technology to stay connected to work: "I was out of the office for six weeks due to mom and the baby having complications, but worked from either the hospital or home during that time and didn't fall behind. It's easy to take mobile technology for granted, but it can truly be the lifeline that keeps your head above water in tough times."
Several others said they simply couldn't be away too long, and one to two weeks is the right amount of time.
Readers: What do you think is the right amount of time for a paternity leave? Take our poll or share your thoughts in the comments section below.