Paid Paternity Leave to Offer More Control Over Work/Life Balance in the U.K.

by Aman Singh Das | January 29, 2010

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As a woman executive, remember the mental fight you fought several times when deciding between a lucrative career and having kids because you are the breadwinner, cannot afford to take unpaid time off from work, and since American law doesn't offer paid paternity leave benefits, your husband cannot help either? Well, the British government has decided to make this decision much easier for its residents and give them more control over choosing the right balance for their work/life quotient.

Dads will now be eligible to receive £123 a week if they choose to take paternity leave. It will have to be the last three months of the mother's nine-month maternity leave so she can return to work, and can be extended for an additional three months off, albeit unpaid, effectively ensuring 12 months of parental care for the child. The Guardian dissects the proposal.

Remember the Times piece yesterday about more women leading investment banks in India than our own Wall Street? The article also reported that women executives in India believe their culture made it possible for them to rise to senior management. Naina Lal Kidwai, the group managing director and country head of HSBC in India, and a former head of Morgan Stanley's investment bank in India terms it like this: This "isn't a golf-playing, beer-drinking homogeneous culture," adding that women "could join the workplace on their own terms. You still have to network, you still have to work hard, but [having the right combination of supportive, mostly male, managers and a diverse work environment that does not require them to be "one of the boys"] made it easier to succeed." The article goes on to discuss the fact that top female managers regularly wear saris at work and talk openly about their children and husbands.

And Europeans are already known for their excellent maternity and paternity benefits. Think its time corporate America plays catch up and sweeps off some of the dust from its perceived Jack Welchian "There is no such thing as work/life balance" notion?

Filed Under: CSR

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