Prince William to get 2 weeks of paternity leave
William is the first senior royal to receive statutory paternity leave.
LONDON (AP) — He may be royal, but when it comes to paternity leave, Prince William is in the same boat as everyone else. Like thousands of other new fathers in Britain, he will get two weeks off when his child is born.
Along with British society, the royal family has been gradually modernizing its attitudes toward birth and parenting. William's father, Prince Charles, was present at the birth of his two sons, who were born in a hospital rather than a palace — both breaks from royal tradition. But William is the first senior royal to receive statutory paternity leave, which was introduced in Britain in 2003.
MSN Living: Kate Middleton’s maternity style
Some family campaigners say William, a Royal Air Force search-and-rescue helicopter pilot, is setting a good example in a country where until recently new fathers have taken little time off.
But others say two weeks is not enough, and argue that social and economic pressures still discourage fathers from spending time looking after their newborns.
"There is an element that employers — and men themselves — are thinking of them as the ones who earn the money and stick in that role when children come along," said Jeremy Davies of the Fatherhood Institute think tank. "It can be quite difficult to set yourself apart from that."
MSN Living: Kate Middleton's most memorable outfits
Under British law, William is entitled to two weeks off at a flat pay rate of just under 137 pounds ($206) a week. He's lucky — the military is among employers that pay more, and he will receive his full salary for the fortnight.
The government says two-thirds of new fathers take some paternity leave, but less than half take the full two weeks. Some are ineligible because they are self-employed or haven't been at a job for at least six months. Others just can't afford it.
Mothers, who receive the bulk of parental leave, can take up to a year off, though only 39 weeks of it is paid, and not at full salary.
Bing: Royal baby due date?
The rules are changing. Under recent changes, new fathers can take up to six months leave by using up some of the year of a partner who has returned to work.
But few do. Elizabeth Gardiner of campaign group Working Families said that in the first year the flexible leave was offered, only 1,650 men in Britain took it.
She said the solution is to set aside some time off for fathers only — a practice in Scandinavia known as "daddy months."
"If you really want fathers to take up leave, you have to earmark it for them and you have to pay it properly," she said.
That's what they do in Sweden, where new parents can take 16 months' paid leave, divided between the parents as they like. Two months can only be taken by the mother and two months by the father — if not, the time cannot be transferred to the partner and is forfeited.
As an incentive, it works. In 2000, Swedish men took out only 12.4 percent of parental leave; by 2010 their share had nearly doubled to 23.1 percent, according to government statistics.
At the other end of the scale is the United States, where there is no government-subsidized nationwide paid paternity leave, though some companies and a few states offer it. Many companies and the public sector offer unpaid leave to new fathers.
Britain is moving to offer fathers more time. Under legislation currently before Parliament, from 2015 parents will be able to split the 50 weeks of paid leave as they like.
Changing attitudes may be harder than changing the law. A recent study by the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto found that men who take on caregiving duties at home receive more abuse at work than men who stick to conventional gender roles.
"It was a pretty powerful result," said Jennifer Berdahl, professor of organizational behavior at the Rotman School. "Men who did relatively more caregiving at home experienced a lot more 'not man enough' harassment and teasing that threatens their status in the workplace."
Prime Minister David Cameron took two weeks' leave when his daughter Florence was born in 2010, and it drew comment — some approving, some critical of a national leader stepping back for 14 days to look after a baby.
Jeremy Davies of the Fatherhood Institute said William was setting a good example — up to a point.
"What would be fantastic would be to see Prince William to take some time where he was the primary carer at some time during the first year," Davies said. "That's the stuff that leads to a really strong relationship with the child."
File photo: Britain's Prince William stands next to his wife, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, as she leaves the King Edward VII hospital in central London. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)
how sad to think they don't work, william and kate seem to be nice people and live the life most people think they want, but it still has responsibility, the glamour is getting to dress up and getting to travel the world sound like fun, but when you are always under the public eye its is not always so fun, you cant do anything without someone watching, and knowing the most intimate of your life. I don't think that sound like fun. They were born into a life most of us don't understand what is expected of you.Bad behavior is not excepted. I for one wish them the best and hope that they have a long and happy life. We lost william mother due to the press following her every move, I hope we give William and Kate more respect.
News, stories, tips and laughs for moms & dads
When it comes to holiday giving, it's the thought that counts, which is why homemade gifts from kids are so treasured by their mothers. Children might not have money to spend on an expensive piece of jewelry or designer handbag, but they do have the time to DIY something special for their number one fan. If you're in charge of helping the little ones think of presents, check out the above list of homemade gifts for mom. From a custom vase to Instagram coasters to Warhol-inspired wall art, we have something for every taste and skill level.
At our household, we have a large, diverse collection of toys. While I’m not as uptight as my husband on what enters our kids’ toy chest, my husband must approve all toy acquisitions mostly because of aesthetics (appearance is important). In our search for functional and stylish toys, the sustainable ones often have the best design, and appeal to the visual and tactile senses or improve fine motor skills such as dexterity and hand coordination. Here are a few of our family favorites that intrigue and hold our little ones’ attention—and look good, too.
Worried that a violent video game might sneak its way into your shopping cart during the holidays? Before you make it to the register, make sure you're armed with all the information you need regarding your child's games. Just because your well-meaning thirteen-year-old promises you that the game he's about to buy with the gift card from Uncle Mike is totally chill, doesn't mean it's good for kids. Do your research ahead of time to avoid any game store drama. And have a chat with your offspring before the big day; let them know that you're going to have to green light their choices before they get their hearts set on any particular item. At the end of the day, you're just being a good parent. Some of the games on the market now may look OK at first glance, but are actually quite objectionable. Trust us: We've done our homework and we're here to give you the ultimate low-down. Check out this slideshow for all the games to steer clear of this season. Don't say we didn't warn you.
Two sociologists have found that parents who have daughters are more inclined to support the GOP and turn a cold shoulder to Democrats.
The experts at Nameberry.com predict what will be big in baby-naming next year
Famed event-planner David Stark shared tips for making chic holiday decorations using items you already have around the house. Take a look!
Sociologist Karen Z. Kramer found that over the past decade more than 550,000 men were stay-at-home fathers, which is about 3.5 percent of the married with kids population.
Ben Miller celebrates his wife's birthday and the anniversary of the day their premature son Ward Miles came home for good with a video documenting his first year.
Adopting an animal is a major commitment. Yet all too often people put more effort into researching what kind of car to get than the type of pet that would best fit their lifestyle.
’Tis the season to send out holiday greeting cards to all your friends and family. But, as our friends at Awkward Family Pet Photos know, not all holiday snapshots are the same. Some are just plain kooky — especially when pets are included. So with good tidings and great cheer, here are 10 wacky holiday animal portraits that are sure to make you laugh out loud and get you in the holiday spirit. And possibly make you think twice about dressing up the family cat this year.
King of the jungle? Nah, it's just a labradoodle!
Side-by-side images of adorable babies and their celebrity doppelgängers